The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

man from uncle poster 2015 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good cast, strong story and retro visuals


Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Studio:  Warner Bros./RatPac-Dune Entertainment/Wigram Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  August 2, 2015 (Premiere)/August 14, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

man from uncle torture armie hammer henry cavill

Don’t worry…watching The Man from U.N.C.L.E. isn’t torture…it’s a fun ride

An East German mechanic named Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) with deep ties has just defected with the help of Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill).  When Teller’s ties prove valuable, Solo finds himself teamed with Teller…and a Soviet agent named Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer).  Solo and Illya must work together if they hope to stop a weapon that could threaten the world in the wrong hands.  Illya and Solo are teammates…but they are also each other’s biggest competition.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an action comedy.  Based on the TV series of the same named which ran from September 22, 1964-January 15, 1968, the film was originally tied to Quentin Tarantino in early phases and later adapted by Steven Soderbergh until Ritchie was brought in.  The film was released to positive reviews and has developed a cult following.

man from uncle drugged henry cavill victoria vinciguerra

These guys are pretty rotten spies

I’m not a big Guy Ritchie fan, but I knew people who really liked this movie.  I have never seen an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. but decided to check it out.  It was an enjoyable and fun action film.  Due to aspects of the movie, a *****spoiler alert***** exists for the rest of the movie.

The general format for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series is that the agents helped an “innocent” caught up in an espionage story, and the movie plays with that format.  As Solo and Kuryakin try to work their job with the trapped Teller, they battle each other to impress each other…and they never realize Teller is playing both of them.  It is a fun little movie about double-crossing which actually serves as a prequel to the U.N.C.L.E. series with the forming of the team at the end.

The cast is good.  Henry Cavill is excellent in playing the stoic, no nonsense Solo while Hammer is good as the hot headed Kuryakin.  Alicia Vikander plays a believable turncoat (and reverse turncoat) in Teller and injects a needed non-macho aspect to the script (while also pointing out the stupidity of the macho characters).  I also enjoy Elizabeth Debicki as the seductive Victoria Vinciguerra who leads the team trying to steal the weapon.  Hugh Grant also has stepped into the role as older English gentleman well and in ways is more enjoyable in this role than his roles when he was younger.

man from uncle alicia vikander armie hammer

Armie Hammer…before his hunger got in the way

The movie is a retro period piece and has some fun with costumes, tech, and locations.  This combines with some sharp shooting of action scenes.  I particularly like the jeep–motorcycle–off-road buggy chase which has the characters all trying to keep ahead of each other and including some fun wide shots which are unusual for action scenes.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a better than normal TV adaptation and a better than normal action movie.  The movie smartly makes it a buddy action comedy and has fun with the format.  As a “prequel”, the movie feels like a set-up for more The Man from U.N.C.L.E. movies, and though there were plans for a sequel, nothing has ever developed…but if it does, I’ll be there.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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