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Film Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


The Man from UNCLE is an adaptation of the 1960s Spy-Fi series that was partially developed by Ian Fleming in the wake of the spy genre frenzy cultivated by the success of the James Bond films. Henry Cavill stars as the suave American agent Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as Russian spy Illya Kuryakin. Alicia Vikander also stars as Gabby Teller and Hugh Grant as Alexander Waverly.

This film was a home run for me. It made my favorites of 2015 and really scratched that spy action itch for me. As a major James Bond fan I was letdown a little by Spectre. Click here for my review of Bond 24. The film chronicles the first meeting of Solo and Kuryakin. 

This movie is equal parts fun and serious. One of my criticisms of Spectre is that these two things weren’t balanced. In The Man from UNCLE, it works. It does not move too deep into either territory. The performances are pretty cool across the board. Cavill has the mannerisms of Robert Vaughn down with his rendition of Solo and Armie Hammer kills it as the towering Kuryakin. Alicia Vikander as Gabby brings some spice to the team and Hugh Grant as Waverly has such presence. One complaint that I have is that there isn’t a whole lot of Waverly until the third act. 

I’m not a huge fan of Guy Ritchie’s work. I find him too much in the way with his style. Yet this movie he is a bit restrained. It looks fantastic and he lets the work fall on his 3 leads instead of his camerawork. This is easily my favorite of his filmography. There is such a flair to the 60s/ Cold War vibe that meshes well. I almost wish that Ritchie would make movies set in this era. It works well for him. Another point to commend is the music. A fantastic mix of songs and score sets the mood throughout the entire film.

The Man from UNCLE is an underrated spy film and a gem of 2015. Because of its flying under the radar, it’s hard to see a sequel being made. If a movie ever deserve a chance to prove itself again it’s this one. It’s fun, has some great action, great music selection and has an pretty damn good cast. This is one I’d recommend everyone give a shot. 

Final Rating (4.5/5)

10 responses to “Film Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

  1. Nice! I have felt this movie was terribly underappreciated since the day it hit theaters. So many were quick to dismiss it. I thought it was a lot of fun. The dry humor was great. Sadly you’re right, I don’t know if we will get a sequel. That’s a shame.

    • Such a shame. It sucks when you see a Transformers series that is always ripped and ridiculed but somehow always makes money keep going. Most people who saw this really enjoyed it and it made hardly anything, has something going for it and may just eventually be forgotten.

  2. this flick was a blast. just the right balance of action, comedy and espionage. it all clicked and it ended up working. plus, it was a very good looking film with a funky and classy spy vibe. not a Ritchie fan either but he did indeed show some restraint, no? I actually ended up buying the blu ray. good review, Eric!

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