THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. DVD (2015)
SYNOPSIS: At the height of the Cold War in the early 1960's, CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) must put aside longstanding hostilities to stop a mysterious international criminal organization bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of world power. With only one lead, the agents race to find a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the organization.
Only Guy Ritchie can make heterosexual guys fall for heterosexual guys. Take a glance at his filmography and you realise they normally feature good-looking, well-dressed guys that talks and fights equally well. Sherlock Holmes, Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels just to name a few.
Ritchie of course repeats his penchant once again in this remake of the classic television series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Assembling two of Hollywood’s hottest young actors and set during the Cold War era, Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) plays a CIA agent/professional thief and KGB agent respectively who must against all odds team up to stop a mysterious criminal organization from detonating a nuclear weapon. In short, it’s everything you expect from a Guy Ritchie flick and please don’t let that dated setting puts you off.
The screenplay by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram (Sherlock Holmes) indeed took a moment to get things going but once the plan is set, the fun begins. Cavill’s Napoleon Solo is like a laidback American version of James Bond playing opposite the more uptight Illya Kuryakin (Hammer), the duo ignites a couple of interesting gags liked the breaking in to a shipyard which resulted in a hilarious explosive sequence and to a climatic car chase towards the end. Of course, expect frequent acts of double-crossing and mistrust as this is a spy movie after all.
The international star-studded cast also includes Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) as the woman whose father is the alleged scientist behind the nuclear warhead. Australian Elizabeth Debicki plays a sexy Nazi sympathiser while Ritchie’s fellow Englishmen Jared Harris and Hugh Grant plays high-ranking officials. Visually speaking, the 60’s setting are seamlessly weaved into the movie courtesy of the hardworking production designer and Oscar-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston. Props, vintage cars and the on-location shooting in Italy easily enhance the viewing experience.
All round stylish, often witty and a classy score by Daniel Pemberton, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an unexpected gem among the slew of spy genre movies released in the past year. Once again, Ritchie has the power to make you fall in love with the adventures of the male leads even if you are a manly straight guy. Enough said.
A Higher Class of Hero is a 7 minutes feature that touches on the fight choreography and car chases seen in the movie.
The movie is color degraded to have a 60’s touch though it didn’t really take away much as a result of it. Blacks are solid and detailing impressive. A Guy Ritchie movie seldom disappoint in the sound department and U.N.C.L.E surrounds the viewers with dynamic sound effects from gunfire to explosion.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee