By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
WHAT’S THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E ABOUT?
During the Cold War, rival Soviet and American spies team up to stop a greater threat. Based on the classic television series.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-).
The Man From U.N.C.L.E is a clear case of style over substance, but what style! Director Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) has crafted a film that, a few modern touches aside, feels like it could have been made in the 60’s, and it’s a delight to experience. The use of music, framing, wardrobe, and editing make for something that feels reminiscent of Connery-era Bond by way of the Ocean’s Eleven remake. It’s cool and it’s a whole lot of fun.
Speaking of Cold War-era espionage, the plot is fairly by-the-numbers, though it crackles with energy thanks to the pairing of Henry Cavill and Arnie Hammer, who spend the film trying to out-macho the other while Swedish actress Alicia Vikander quietly steals the movie as the fiesty damsel who smarts her way out of distress. The action is fun, the romance has a refreshingly lively tone, and there’s some belly laughs among all the cool attitude. This was a pleasant surprise.