Retro Repartee

The Man from UNCLE

man_from_uncle_ver4

Director: Guy Ritchie

Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Hugh Grant, Jared Harris, Luca Calvani

British director Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, RocknRolla and Snatch) reinvents the Cold War spy drama while sticking to its original retro chic with The Man from UNCLE.

man_from_uncle_ver3

Henry Cavill (Superman) plays Napoleon Solo, who after a stunning chase sequence in East Berlin, reluctantly teams up with Russian KGB agent, Illya wonderfully played by Armie Hammer, complete with dodgy accent and a bad temper.

man_from_uncle_ver6

Swedish actress Alicia Vikander plays Gaby who is gallantly rescued from East Berlin by Solo only to become a pawn in a deadly international game of espionage involving chic Italians who are actually Fascists and a desperate search for a nuclear warhead, which is being developed by a glamorous but lethal Italian couple Alexander, played by Luca Calvani (The International) and his vicious wife, Victoria played by Elizabeth Debicki last seen in The Great Gatsby.

Using cool split screen cinematic techniques and an innovative retro-active editing sequence, Ritchie leads the audience on a brilliant dance between espionage, glamour and intrigue, all the usual tropes associated with the hugely successful spy genre: exotic locations, a nefarious villain and a femme fatale who is not what she seems.

man_from_uncle_ver8

What makes The Man from UNCLE so watchable, is the brilliant onscreen chemistry between Hammer and Cavill, who constantly outdo each other with brawn and wits and naturally are both competing for the affections of the gorgeous yet bold German femme fatale, a role which Alicia Vikander really takes on as her own after playing minor roles in The Fifth Estate and outshining Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina.

man_from_uncle_ver7

Watch out for the British charm offensive, Hugh Grant (Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Waverly who is back on form with such witty lines as “For a Special Agent, you are not having such a special day”. The dialogue, action sequences and narrative in Man from UNCLE are all perfectly matched to that early 1960’s spy film, additionally helped by most of the film being set in Rome and the Italian coastline. Even the soundtrack for Uncle is suitably chic, with a couple of sixties Italian songs playing enlivening the amusing action sequences.

The costumes are fabulous, the stunts are brilliantly choreographed and the dialogue is suitably witty with both Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer on top form as the two leading men who are jostling for their own pride, accomplishments and competitive edge. It’s the clashing egos of Napoleon and Illya which are fun to watch and director Ritchie plays on the actors’ ability to maintain that constant jealousy between the two characters, coloured with retro repartee which creates a dynamic fraternal bond.

man_from_uncle_ver5

Elizabeth Debicki is suitably sinister, as the slinky yet dangerous Italian enemy. With plentiful historical references of lurking fascism, Cold War paranoia and sixties glam thrown in, the plot of The Man from Uncle never falters, especially from a director who is clearly unafraid to take risks.

The Man from Uncle is highly recommended viewing for those that have enjoyed Ritchie’s earlier commercial successes and also love a witty, retro spy film which is not afraid to poke fun at the genre itself.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
August 2015
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
  • Biden’s Antitrust Squeeze May Grease the Wheels for TV Deals (Column)
    The Biden administration made a statement earlier this month when the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the $2.1 billion sale of Simon & Schuster. Merrick Garland’s body block of the deal that ViacomCBS struck with Bertelsmann’s Penguin Random House sends the message that the White House is paying attention to the pace […]
    Cynthia Littleton
  • Disney’s ‘Encanto’ Leads Muted Thanksgiving Box Office, ‘House of Gucci’ Lands Impressive Debut
    Disney has reclaimed its rightful place at the top of Thanksgiving box office charts. “Encanto,” the studio’s new animated musical fable, collected $40 million since Wednesday, a robust tally at a time when family audiences haven’t been eager to return to cinemas. It’s become holiday tradition for Disney to release a family friendly movie around […]
    Rebecca Rubin
  • Domenico Procacci on Making Directorial Debut With Davis Cup Docuseries ‘The Team,’ Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)
    Italian producer Domenico Procacci, after shepherding more than 100 movies and several TV series, including Netflix’s upcoming Elena Ferrante adaptation “The Lying Life of Adults,” via his Fandango shingle, is debuting as a director with six-part documentary series “The Team.” Variety speaks to Procacci exclusively about what prompted him to go behind the camera for […]
    nvivarelli
  • BTS Lights Up L.A.’s SoFi Stadium on Night One of Permission to Dance Tour
    BTS kicked off its four-night takeover of Los Ang’s SoFi Stadium on Saturday night with a much-anticipated sold-out show that thrilled tens of thousands of proud Army who packed into the venue. The two-hour set, for the boy band’s Permission to Dance On Stage tour, was rife with confetti, smoke, pyrotechnics and — of course […]
    Angelique Jackson
  • ‘Dying to Divorce’ Review: A Sobering Documentary That Scrutinizes Turkey’s Femicide Problem
    “Dying to Divorce” begins and ends with an onscreen counter, ticking over as rapidly as a zealous taxi meter — if only it were measuring anything so banal. Instead, it’s a representation of Turkey’s appalling rate of femicide over recent years, the screen below the counter filling up with the names of women murdered by […]
    Guy Lodge
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90