By Travis Trombley
The fourth in a chain of spy movies this year, Guy Ritchie’s “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” a film adaptation of the 1960’s TV show, privileges the cool and glamour of the spy profession over the bang and sizzle of more action oriented takes on the genre. If you’re looking for high octane stunts, go see “Rogue Nation.” If you want beautiful people to make you laugh - see this one.
Pairing the American art thief Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill), blackmailed into service by the CIA, and the Russian KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), “The Man from Uncle” follows the ideologically opposed spies as they seek out a rogue organization manufacturing nuclear weapons. To do so, they must work with Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), the mechanic daughter of the ex-Nazi scientist allegedly coerced into building the bomb. But the plot takes a passenger seat in this extravaganza of spy cool.
From the opening sequence, which pits Solo against Kuryakin against one another in a race to Ms. Teller, Mr. Ritchie takes time between action for Solo to simply be cool, shooting off one-liners and demands with swagger. Kuryakin, on the other hand, while he has his moments of cool, comes off as a hot tempered but by-the-book brute. And that’s okay, because unlike in his “Sherlock Holmes” films, the two very different agents ultimately can’t succeed without one another. They differ vastly, but compliment one another well.