Something Like a Gunshot: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
There is so much to say about Guy Ritchie’s career, some hits and some misses. I find myself entertained by the majority of things he has created. One of my favorites, and one I continually revisit, is The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Based on a British television show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E stars the devilishly charming Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill. Ilya Kuryakin (Hammer) is a rough and tough KGB operative who has to team up with Napoleon Solo (Cavill), a sneaky agent working with the CIA. Improving on that, Alicia Vikander owns the screen as a German car repair girl named Gaby who can hold her own while colluding with the two men. What is their end goal? It’s to bring down a crime circle in the Vinceguerra family who are Nazi sympathizers working on their own nuclear warheads with the brain power of Gaby’s father, Dr. Udo Teller and her Uncle Rudi.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E packs the heat and is a diamond in the rough of action packed spy comedies. From the beginning, the music puts you in the mood immediately and you know you’re about to have a good time. What is the best scene to music in this movie? Easy answer. Gaby and Ilya have to pretend to engaged. After a day of being undercover in Rome, Gaby becomes intoxicated and dances around the hotel room in her pajamas. The scene starts our sweet between Ilya and Gaby, but as tension rises after Gaby slaps Ilya, their night turns into a ruckus battle to the ground. With Solomon Burke’s ‘Cry to Me’ playing in the background, the scene makes for a sensual menagerie of intoxication and lust.
Another glorious shine to this under-appreciated gem is the utterly fabulous wardrobe. (I want every single one of Gaby’s outfits.) The 60s were wild for fashion for women with colorful patterns and short dresses and exuded nothing but fun. Gaby’s outfits are psychedelic and are paired with the best accessories. Circular sunglasses and big hats make for the best completion to her ensembles. On top of that, Napoleon Solo is decked to the nines in lavish suits while Ilya Kuryakin dawns his more scruffy side as well as being a dapper gentleman in Jeff Caps. They’re wardrobes that anyone would love to have and it mimics the era that the movie takes place in perfectly.
There is no denying that seeing the trifecta of Vikander, Hammer, and Cavill on screen is a treat for the eyes, but there are two others in The Man From U.N.C.L.E that are a perfect addition in my opinion. First we have Elizabeth Debicki who plays Victoria, the conniving lead female member of the Vinceguerra family. Victoria is a sophisticatedly suave woman who will have everything her way. Elizabeth Debicki fits this role perfectly for this as she has a mysterious aura to her presence. After seeing her in the recent film, The Tale, she is guaranteed to bring more stellar performances in the future. The other actor is someone everyone knows and loves, and that is Hugh Grant. He plays Agent Waverly who oversees both Solo and Kuryakin. I always seem to enjoy him in movies, most recently in Paddington 2. He brings a poised performance on screen and is confident in his delivery each and every time. Having these two performers added to the lineup makes The Man From U.N.C.L.E like fine wine.
Being a Guy Ritchie movie, we know that action is something that wouldn’t go to the wayside. Important historical facts are presented throughout the opening credits that are juxtaposed to Henry Cavill making his way through Germany with a sneaky Armie Hammer spying on him. Who knew that a few minutes after that, we’d be introduced to Alicia Vikander and an all out savage car chase would ensue. From then on, the movie gets your blood pumping. From fight scenes, to hilarious boat chasing scenes, The Man From U.N.C.L.E has rowdy maneuvering teamed up with a comical yet dignified script. It’s also really fun to watch Cavill and Hammer banter back and forth while calling each other Peril (Hammer) and Cowboy (Cavill). You won’t take your eyes off the screen as their dynamic is just too good.
Some people have their fair share of comfort food movies, and this is one of mine. The Man From U.N.C.L.E is downright enjoyable and has so many aspects that are worth your time. Some spy films are hard to follow, but this one is evenly proportioned and by the end credits you’ll want more. It’s a shame that it didn’t do well in the box office according to Warner Brothers because as time goes by, it just gets better. By the final shot, we know this story can continue on and yet here we are sitting patiently waiting for a sequel we may never get. Keep your fingers and toes crossed, because if there is one movie that absolutely deserves a fun sequel into the depth of U.N.C.L.E, it’s this one.