REVIEW: Who’s Your U.N.C.L.E.?

Another spy movie hits the theatres, and it feels the same – but different.

If James Bond were a set of twins: one twin who was suave and proficient with one-liners; the other ridiculously violent and an excellent fighter – then that would be this movie. Almost.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, The Man From Uncle is based off a 60’s TV series (of the same name). It stars Henry Cavill, Elizabeth Debicki, Hugh Grant, Arnie Hammer and Alicia Vikander. The premise: two enemy sides (Cavill, Hammer) team up to take on a woman with warheads (Debicki). They are assisted by a German mechanic (Vikander) whose father is believed to be assisting with the construction of said warheads.

Because Straight Outta Compton had already exceeded box office expectations by the time I’d gone to see this movie yesterday night, I thought this movie would be mediocre at best. What it really was was just a case of winners and losers and some really good campaigning. In other words, this movie is worth seeing – I think it is a victim of a lack of marketing (or at least, that’s one of a few of its problems). Straight Outta Compton definitely won the round of marketing, but my understanding is the movie is also a terrific piece of cinematic art.

Don’t worry – Straight Outta Compton is on my list!

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is is a movie that works more off the hilarity and hi-jinx, and not so much action. Those who were looking for a kick-ass action flick will likely feel robbed. Ritchie used an interesting technique to bypass some of the action (which I wasn’t a fan of) to move the movie along. I don’t know if he was thinking we, as the audience, had ‘seen it all before,’ but you’ll feel a little cheated.

Where this movie shines is in its witty one-liners and dialogue. The banter between Hammer and Cavill is incredible. It captures the competitive spirit between the two. One scene early in the movie has the two men even arguing about women’s fashion (yes, designers like Dior and Paco Rabanne are thrown around).

Of course, there are faults. The story was a tad predictable (I guessed what was going to happen about halfway through). Also, let’s just say cold-war era spy movies are fairly straight forward where storylines are involved. This one is no exception.

Another thought that comes to mind: at first I was impressed by the music. Then I realized Ritchie simply took the same formula from his Sherlock Holmes series, and then I was a little less impressed.

Oh, and if you’re a Hugh Grant fan, don’t expect to see too much of him in this film.

Overall I’m glad I went to see this in theatres, and I’ll probably add it to my Bluray collection. Is it a fun movie? Yes. Is it stylish and sleek? Sure. Is it something I’ve seen before? Yes – it’s the typical gift of a decent 60’s spy flick wrapped up in a gift box (with a little bow) instead of thrown at you in a gift bag.

Take a look at the trailer below.

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