The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: Film Review

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I was not at all excited about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. when it was announced and publicity material did not nothing for me either, so I was very surprised to find myself enjoying every minute of it. As someone without a clue about the 1960s TV series, I cannot say if it can be held in as much high regard as the show, but certainly works for newcomers like me.

CIA agent Napoleon Solo is portrayed by Henry Cavill this time around and we first see him in East Berlin during the Cold War era to extract Gaby (Alicia Vikander), whose rocket scientist father is helping a Nazi-sympathising criminal organisation make an atomic bomb. They are pursued by Russian KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), but they manage to evade his capture. Solo, Kuryakin and Gaby soon discover they have to work together to take down the organisation, lead by Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki).

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The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is slick, smooth and stylish. The European locations, the 1960s clothes and even the music are absolutely perfect and totally enjoyable. Solo oozes charms while Illya is by-the-book and very focussed, and the differences between the two are hilarious. They have a serious bromance blossoming. I also really enjoy Illya’s scenes with Gaby, who is pretending to be his fiancée to infiltrate the Vinciguerra organisation (their initial hotel room scene is probably my favourite).

The only downside is that the plot is not very dramatic. The twists are not remotely shocking because they were pretty obvious, there is no real sense of danger and there is not much depth or substance to it at all. I also found it hard to take in all the exposition at the start, especially since I was distracted by a cameo from David Beckham!

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That being said, I bloody loved it. It is fun, the action scenes are exciting and I thought the main three cast were brilliant.  All along I wondered where the link to U.N.C.L.E. would come in and it turns out this is an origin story for the unit (also featuring Hugh Grant) so I can only assume this is the launch pad for a new franchise. Bring it on, this 1960s spy flick is right up my street.

Released in cinemas Friday 21st August 

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