THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (transfer) review

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These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

I didn’t know what to make of this movie when it was first announced. I like Henry Cavill enough, no real problems with Armie Hammer, and I’m quickly becoming an Alicia Vikander fan, so I had no real reason to be suspicious. I guess in part it’s because the trailer didn’t seem to make it very interesting, like it was based on a comic book that no one’s heard of and only fans of it will get it. Turns out, it was based on a 1960s TV show of the same name and same characters. Again, never heard of it. But I was willing to give it a shot, especially when I found out that Hugh Grant was going to have a role. He’s never in anything anymore. In any case, it seemed like a decent flick and there wasn’t anything that seemed more interesting to watch, other than STRAIGHT OUT OF COMPTON. Bought the ticket, sat down, watched.

Starring: Henry Cavill (JUSTICE LEAGUE [2017], BATMAN V SUPERMAN [2016], and upcoming films MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT [2018] and NOMIS [2018]), Armie Hammer (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME [2017], NOCTURNAL ANIMALS [2016], and upcoming films SORRY TO BOTHER YOU [2018] and ON THE BASIS OF SEX [2018]), Alicia Vikander (TOMB RAIDER [2018], TULIP FEVER [2017], JASON BOURNE [2016], and THE DANISH GIRL [2015]), and Elizabeth Debicki (PETER RABBIT [2018], GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 [2017], EVEREST [2015], and upcoming films THE TALE [2018] and WIDOWS [2018])

Support: Luca Calvani (WHEN IN ROME [2010]), Hugh Grant (PADDINGTON 2 [2018] and FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS [2016]), Jared Harris (CERTAIN WOMEN [2017], ALLIED [2016], and the upcoming ROBERT THE BRUCE [2019]), and Christian Berkel (ELLE [2016])

Director/Co-writer: Guy Ritchie (KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD [2017], and upcoming films ALADDIN [2019] and SHERLOCK HOLMES 3 [2020])
Co-writer: Lionel Wigram (KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD)
Composer: Daniel Pemberton (ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD [2017], MOLLY’S GAME [2017], GOLD [2017], and the upcoming OCEAN’S 8 [2018])
Cinematographer: John Mathieson (KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, LOGAN [2017], PAN [2015], and upcoming films MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS [2018] and POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU [2019])
Editor: James Herbert (KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, and the upcoming ALADDIN)

This is my honest opinion ofTHE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.


It’s during the Cold War, 60’s. Napolean Solo (Henry Cavill) is a former thief recruited into the CIA. Suave and confident with the skills to back it up. Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) is a cut-throat KGB agent. He’s quiet and no-nonsense. Turns out these two agents are after the same target; Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), whose father is part of a terrorist organization ran by Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki), making Gaby subject to their protection and help them to bring the organization down. Despite thinking that they are each other’s enemy, their leaders tell them they’re going to team up. This doesn’t bode well with anyone involved, even Gaby, but they suck it up and try to work together.


I thought this movie was pretty good. Though I do have to give a mild disclaimer. Granted this might just be personal taste, but I felt like this movie wasn’t all that funny. I mean, it’s enjoyable as all hell, easy to watch, Cavill and Hammer have great chemistry and mannerisms, but I don’t remember a whole lot of jokes being flung around.

Lets start with the main stars.

Cavill’s good. He’s definitely got the suave and confidence down, but I think some real jokes would have helped his character to be more likable. Because he’s not that funny, Solo just comes off as bland and uninteresting. Also, Cavill’s American accent kind of slips sometimes. That’s weird because I don’t recall his accent slipping in MAN OF STEEL. Hammer’s pretty enjoyable as Kuryakin, for the most part, but I never could shake the feeling that his role was to basically stand there with a straight face and roll his eyes at Solo. Understand though, when I talk about these two characters separate, you can probably guess I’m not overly impressed by either performance. But when they share screen time, that’s when the comedy kicks in. Cavill and Hammer have great chemistry, and Kuryakin serves as hilarious comic foil to Solo.

Vikander is about the only character that stands well on her own and has a more 3-dimensional character who doesn’t really want to be a part of anything that’s going on, but knows that these guys are her best protection.

Sadly, as bland as the leading men are, the villains are worse. While Cavill and Hammer had each other to play off of, their banter being the comedy’s heart, the villains are dull and forgettable. Hell, looking back on the cast, I didn’t even remember there being a character named Alexander (Luca Calvani) and he’s supposed to be one of the two main antagonists of the story… all I remember was the femme fatale, and even then it’s just because she’s European and hot (sue me, I’m a guy).

Really though, the main star of the movie is Guy Ritchie’s signature fast-paced quirky style, in both back-drop and action. It’s fun, visually appealing in every way, and the sets feel pretty authentic to the 60s. And that’s pretty much it.

Truth be told, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION is still out and is a far better flick as well as more memorable. But don’t be discouraged. U.N.C.L.E. is a solid movie with a lot to offer, but it’s probably not going to contend with Bond or any other spy thriller out now. But if you’re interested, I do recommend seeing it. You might get a kick out of it. Some weak stand-alone characters, to be sure, but the action and chemistry between the otherwise underwhelming lead characters is enjoyable.

My honest rating for THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.: a strong 3/5


21 Replies to “THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (transfer) review”

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