WRITTEN BY: Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram
DIRECTED BY: Guy Ritchie
STARRING: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki
RATING: 4 stars
Set during the Cold War in the 1960s, and based on the television series, The Man From UNCLE is an origin story about how the group was formed. Controversial CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative Ilya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) are forced to work together to protect East German mechanic Gaby (Alicia Vikander) while also using her family connections to get closer to the villainous Victoria (Elizabeth Debicki) and a Nazi organisation aimed at misusing nuclear weapons.
The Man From UNCLE is a sexy and cool spy comedy. Director/co-writer Guy Ritchie has put his signature slick touch on the film with split screens, lots of well-timed humour and sexual innuendo. There are also plenty of great action sequences that take place all over Europe, which are thrilling but never drawn out. Chic fashion from the 1960s and a memorable soundtrack round-out the spectacle of the film. The plot is a little slow to get going, and perhaps the film could have been trimmed about 10 minutes, but it is such good fun it barely matters. Just as Kingsman: The Secret Service reinvigorated the spy comedy genre, so too does The Man From UNCLE.
Tying all the wonderful aspects of the film together is the solid cast. The Man From UNCLE is further proof that Cavill should be the next James Bond. It is a shame he could not use his English accent for this role, but he oozes sex appeal as the loveable rogue. He also has fantastic chemistry with Hammer, who is very funny as the more traditional spy with a dark past. They are definitely the surprise comedy duo of the year so far. The two leading women are equally strong. Vikander is fast becoming a reason to see any film as she builds an impressive resume and Debicki is a sultry villain. There is no damsel in distress in this film - everyone is a badass. Hugh Grant also has a small but pivotal role, adding even more charm to an already delightful film.
The ending perfectly tees up a sequel for The Man From UNCLE. I hope we get it.