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Movies Review

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Score : 85/100

Watchable Minutes: 100/116

Trailer Comparison : The trailer makes this movie seem a little more “vroom vroom boom boom” than it actually is. It definitely has its moments, but there are some slower parts. They mesh well together but this trailer could definitely turn off some people from wanting to watch it. 

Movie or Film : The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a fun, action packed, witty, and campy movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite its campiness. There’s nothing to dissect here because it’s purely made for entertainment. 

Info : 

  • Run time : 1 hour 56 minutes
  • Studio : Warner Bros
  • Director : Guy Ritchie
  • Where to Watch : Prime Video ($)

Summary : 

In the early 1960s, an American ex-con turned CIA spy is assigned to a joint mission with a Russian KGB agent. On the surface, the two opposing agencies are forced to work together to prevent a secret criminal organization from detonating an atom bomb. The unspoken mission is to reclaim the technology used to build the bomb in order to shift the balance of power between the US and Russia. With the help of the lead scientist’s estranged daughter, the agents must infiltrate the criminal organization and discover the bomb’s location before its detonation. 

Review : 

There must be some law of the universe that states every few years there must be two similar movies released at the same time. If you ask me, there is also a complimentary law  that says one shall stand, one shall fall. The movie that falls isn’t always because it’s bad. There’s a myriad of factors that can contribute, like star power or brand recognition. My favorite examples of this are The Prestige and The Illusionist, The Equalizer and John Wick, and Armageddon and Deep Impact. Unfortunately, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is also a perfect example of this universal law. I remember hearing about this movie back in 2015 when I graduated high school and thinking “Hey, that looks good” only to go to the theater to see Mission Impossible : Rogue Nation instead. I would have liked to see this in theaters, but my college job didn’t pay much and I had textbooks to buy so I chose the movie with more brand recognition. 

This movie was obviously the one that fell, but like I said it wasn’t because it’s bad. It just didn’t have the brand recognition to compete with Mission Impossible. I actually think the story and writing of this movie was much better than Rogue Nation. It managed to be cool, witty, and campy all at once without missing the mark or taking itself too seriously. There’s nothing here to dislike, only a few minor critiques. For one, there’s a little bit too much going on, so it can get confusing if you look away for a minute or two. Additionally, the twist that happens in the third act is a little too convenient and wasn’t much of a surprise at all if you’re familiar with the genre. Not to mention, they could have spiced it up a little bit more and made the villains a bit more involved. Overall, I enjoyed it and can forgive those flaws because it was such a fun movie to watch. 

The acting in this movie was decent. Henry Cavill can pull off a suave American spy with ease and definitely carried most of the movie, but he’s no Tom Cruise. Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander were both tolerable, but not memorable. Hammer’s accent was atrocious. I’m sure I’ve heard better accents in Call of Duty. I think that since this movie was released in 2015, everyone involved has gotten some more experience and could make something better in a sequel. Elizabeth Debicki was passable as a villain but didn’t really do anything other than get in the way. I don’t think any director except Guy Ritchie could have made this movie work with this cast. There was clearly a vision and it wouldn’t have felt the same with another director in the chair. There are also two complaints I have about the editing : the run time was little too long and it got a little tropey with the cuts back to explain the twist. 

The sound and look of the movie were pretty good. I love the soundtrack with that classic 60s thriller music. The wardrobe and locations all meshed well together. There weren’t any issues with cinematography until I got to the boat scene, where it felt like a Go Pro was strapped to the bow. I think that could have been handled a little bit better, but oh well. I recognize that’s a nitpick. There are also some iffy special effects with the zooms and explosions. I checked the budget and it clocked in at an whopping $75 million. I would have hoped they spent some of that money on a bigger VFX budget but I guess not. 

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a fun and comedic spy thriller that went toe to toe with one of the biggest franchises in the genre and got the ever loving $h!t kicked out of it at the box office. I don’t have high hopes for a sequel because of that, but it has definitely made me a bigger Guy Ritchie fan. I think this movie is underrated and should be given a second chance by everyone that passed it up. I encourage you to re-watch it or give it a shot if you haven’t before. You have nothing to lose except a few bucks, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 

If you like this, check out : 

  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows
  • Snatch

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