11th August, 2015 was a special day. I attended my first ever red carpet premiere. As someone who's been live streaming premieres for years now, I had a great time being among the energy and enthusiasm of fans such as myself. The premiere itself was for none other than Guy Ritchie's latest offering - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I'll now proceed to let you know what I thought of the film and will sneak in some cool pictures I managed to click!
2015 will be remembered as the year of the spy. There will be more spy films in 2015 than superhero films! [Kingsman: The Secret Service](tag:713143), Spy, Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation, The Man From U.N.C.L.E and finally, Spectre as compared to The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and Fantastic Four. This means that there's pressure on each film to bring something unique and memorable to the table, which is where I feel The Man From UNCLE unfortunately falls short.
As someone that can watch Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels countless times and even enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes films, I was definitely excited to see what Guy Ritchie had come up with. However, I must confess that I ended up slightly disappointed. While The Man From U.N.C.L.E is by absolutely no measure a bad film, it's just far from the director's best!
The plot is standard spy film fare and involves CIA and KGB agents having to team up to infiltrate the bad guys and thwart their evil schemes, saving the world in the process. It has a few twists that are fairly predictable and there's no real sense of tension or urgency with the world never really feeling like it's at stake. That being said, The Man From U.N.C.L.E has more than a few redeeming qualities that elevate it to an entertaining one time watch, if nothing else.
In typical Guy Ritchie fashion, the film is stylishly shot and is an absolute delight to look at. The beautiful locales of Italy are done justice to and all the characters are dressed to the teeth. While the film has only three relatively subtle and restrained action sequences, two of those really stick out due to the way they deftly incorporate humor into the proceedings. The opening sequence in particular is terrific, and it's a real shame that nothing else in the rest of the film matches the brilliance seen in the first fifteen minutes.
Henry Cavill ditches the cape for smart suits and pulls off the role of the slick and suave CIA agent convincingly. Armie Hammer as his partner from the KGB is good too and effectively manages to pull off an impressive Russian accent. There are moments between these two where the chemistry is great and they play well of each other but unfortunately these are few and far apart.
Alicia Vikander plays the woman who's the key to infiltrating the bad guys, and turns in another confident performance after Ex Machina. She is arguably more enjoyable to watch than her male counterparts in scenes they share.
Elizabeth Debicki has phenomenal screen presence and is a joy to watch but unfortunately is simply not given enough dialogue or screen-time to turn her character into a compelling three dimensional villain.
All in all, The Man From U.N.C.L.E is a classic case of style over substance. Everyone and everything looks great, there's a few very well choreographed action sequences and the music along with the background score is solid throughout. If only the storyline had been worked on a bit more and the antagonist had been better developed, this film could have been much better. While it is still consistently watchable and often quite enjoyable, it'll probably end up being the year's most forgettable spy film and among Guy Ritchie's lesser appreciated works.
Do you plan to watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E this weekend? Why or why not? Let me know in the poll and comments below!