We’ve been treated to a lot of comedy / parody / generally amusing spy films in 2015. Along with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. we’ve had the excellent Kingsman: The Secret Service and Spy. One of those was excellent, and one of them was alright, so what about U.N.C.L.E.?
I’m pleased to say that this film is not just a good spy comedy / parody, but a good summer action film. I’ll get this out-of-the-way, the plot is nothing new. Two alpha males who don’t get on are forced to work together to foil an evil genius, love interest, complications, etc etc. That being said, anything can be good if it’s done well, which pretty much every aspect here is.
The acting is for the most part good, with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer being believable action stars and delivering laughs. The writing may not by revolutionary but it still hits all the right notes, and there are a few surprises in there. Guy Ritchie is also on top form, and has made a lean film with lots to like. There’s actually only one person that didn’t quite pull their weight, and that’s Alicia Vikander. Now, she’s given one of my favourite performances of the year (in Ex Machina), and her performance isn’t actually bad, it’s just that her accent is a bit all over the place. I wasn’t actually sure what nationality she was meant to be, and in a film where two Brits play two Americans, and an American plays a Russian, all fairly believably, it does stand out a little bit.
The biggest selling point is also this film’s strongest aspect, and that’s that it’s just effortlessly cool. Very few films pull this off, but from the deep red, highly political opening credits, every moment has that 1960’s flare that most people these days know as the Man Men era. It’s also worth mentioning the excellent music. The score excellently compliments the comedy and action, and the choices of songs also add a lot to the overall feel of the film.
There’s not a lot I can complain about in regards to this film. It looks great, it sounds great, and generally it is great fun. It also did a wonderful job setting up a sequel without feeling at all heavy-handed, and I really hope that it gets one.
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