The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Review

I have been a pretty big fan of Guy Ritchie. The first film that I saw from him was Rock N Rolla. I thought it was a really enjoyable film that lacked substance. Since then, I have noticed that Ritchie consistently brings flair to his films, but struggles with a compelling narrative. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. certainly follows this trend, but that is not necessarily bad. While the plot may be basic and the film may not break new ground, it still remains a very entertaining flick with great characters and performances to match.
You’re A Terrible Spy Cowboy
Rest assured, this film has plenty of reasons for you to watch it. First of all, the acting is fantastic throughout. The four main characters are played brilliantly by: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, and Elizabeth Debicki. Each of these actors may portray very familiar characters, but they bring a lot of charisma to their roles. Not only that, but the actors have great chemistry with one another. The two standouts have to be Cavill and Hammer as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin. These two characters have to be opposites, while also being able to work together. Cavill and Hammer work incredibly well with each other, while still maintaining the characteristics that make them different. Other than having a great cast, the film is very well shot, and highly stylized. There is a particular sequence that uses a lot of split screen editing, and it makes the entire scene stand out. However, to achieve this technique the crew had to be very selective with which shots they had to choose. This is where Guy Ritchie really stands out. He knows how to film something in a very interesting way, and also how to put something together that make a scene more exciting. There are plenty of scenes that combine his trademark filming and editing which enhanced my experience with the film. I was really amazed at the crew’s attention to detail. Everything in the film felt like it belonged in the 1960’s. From the music, to the fantastic wardrobe, Ritchie and his crew were able to successfully replicate what it felt like in that time period. Speaking of the music, I love the use of music in this film. Not only was it used to increase the tension in a handful of scenes, but it was used to convey strong emotions from certain characters. For example, Illya has quite a temper, and whenever he would start getting upset, the music would being swelling. I thought this was a very unique technique which even worked for a couple of comedic scenes. The film is also funny from start to finish. However, the humor feels very natural. The film does not take itself too seriously, which allows the cast and crew to have some fun. Watch out for the scene involving Cavill and Hammer in a boat chase. That scene was definitely my favorite.
You Have A New Codename. Rather A Good One
My biggest problem with this film is that it does not do anything new. Every technique that the film uses has been seen in films from the past. That is not to say that these techniques are handled poorly, I just wish the crew tried something a little new. The plot is incredibly basic, and while there are some twists and turns, it is not hard to predict where the story will go. Even though I enjoyed the performances, the characters themselves are a bit underdeveloped. There is some character development, but nothing extraordinary. I felt like the film could have made an attempt to make the characters stand out a bit more, but the writers decided to play it safe. Another minor gripe that I have is with promotional material. This will not affect the final score, but it is something I noticed. The trailers give away most of the plot points. While the best moments of the film are not in the trailers, I still felt like I saw most of it through all the promotions.
Closing Remarks
I got exactly what I wanted out of this film. It did not surpass my expectations, but it definitely lived up to them. It is an enjoyable spy film with some standout performances and remarkable style. I would advise you not to go in expecting a sophisticated plot with sophisticated characters, because you will be disappointed. Guy Ritchie has proven himself to be a talent behind the camera, but I hope his next film has better writing.


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