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Friday, 28 August 2015

Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E - Fun, Fun, Fun! - #FanFridays 3

Welcome to FanFridays 3 where I'm allowed to get my geek on :). Today I have a film review for you: The Man From UNCLE. I do hope you enjoy it. SPOILER FREE

The Man From U.N.C.L.E - Fun, Fun, Fun

Wittegen Press
$3.29 | £2.19
Amazon | Other
Rating: 12A
Henry Cavill ... Solo
Armie Hammer ... Illya
Alicia Vikander ... Gaby
Elizabeth Debicki ... Victoria
Luca Calvani ... Alexander
Sylvester Groth ... Uncle Rudi
Hugh Grant ... Waverly

Summary: Napoleon Solo, top agent of the CIA and Illya Kuryakin, top agent of the KGB are brought together to track down a missing nuclear scientist and the process he has perfected for refining Uranium quickly and easily. Along with his estranged daughter, Gabby, they must infiltrate a neo-Nazi organisation to retrieve the man in question and his process.

So I am a fan of the original series The Man From UNCLE and The Return of the Man from UNCLE (I think I saw the latter first and am totally an Illya girl), so I was not sure what to make of the new movie. As shown by The Avengers (Steed and Peel that is), not all formats translate to the big screen, but I had seen good things on Tumblr so decided to go see for myself.

I am so glad I went to watch this film.

This is an incredibly entertaining movie and I enjoyed every second of it. It could do with some more diversity in the cast, but never-the-less, it's very engaging.

I love the trope where the two leads really dislike each other, but have to work together anyway and this is totally the angle Ritchie goes for. Solo and Illya always seemed to get on in the series (at least what I have seen of it), but the first time we see them in the movie they're trying to kill each other in a very serious manner. They don't like each other, they don't trust each other and they deliberately try and push each other's buttons. It's awesome!

Of course they have to go for some sexual tension between the female lead Gabby (Alicia Vikander) and one of the male leads as seems to be required by so many movies, but personally I was sitting there going 'Oh kiss already' every time Solo (Henry Cavill) and Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) were on screen together. I'm sure Gabby could cope with both of them ;). I mean, just look at them:

The plot is a typical, scientist has been taken by baddies and is building bad things, we must get him back, spy plot, but that's the point - if it had been any more complex it would have been wrong. It is the perfect, simply laid out, old fasioned Bond type idea with moments when its tongue is firmly stuck in its cheek.

Wittegen Press
$6.79 | £5.69
Amazon | Other
I'm still an Illya girl, just so you know :). The cast does beautifully. Did they deliberately pick an Illya as far away from David McCallum as they could get while still being blond? Armie is superb as the KGB agent with anger issues and I love how they have changed his character from the original. The original Illya always seemed so very calm and impossible to flat, the new Illya is very different and yet still as adorable.

Cavill is really good as Solo as well. I have to admit I never really liked the original Napoleon Solo very much, there were too many times I wanted to smack him. I still want to smack this one at certain moments, but really liked him too. He's just the right amount of smooth, cocksure and put together.

Alicia Vikander is superb as Gabby. She comes across as totally out of her depth at times and yet still competent and capable. She is definitely not the damsel in this film. She also looks stunning in coveralls or couture, which is hard to do :).

What is utterly awesome is the ultimate baddie is a woman and she is fantastic. Victoria (Elizabeth Debicki) is everything a spy movie villain in the 60s should be: sophisticated, calm and cool, ruthless and something of a sexual predator. Actually Servalan from Blake's 7 comes to mind as the same kind of character well done.

This film is also incredibly funny. It's the kind of humour Ritchie is famous for; a little black in places and occasionally downright wrong, but very, very infectious. There was one scene, which I shall not spoil, where half the cinema were laughing and the other half looked at us askance - it was hilarious, I promise, but it also very black humour.

At times it is very touching as well. The film has depth in places that I was not expecting.

There was only one bit that was incredibly annoying and that was near the climax. They decided to do split screen, comic book style action for a little bit (thank god not for too long) and it just felt like being thrown out of the film for a minute of so. It made everything remote and I don't think it worked. It was clear an homage that did not belong.

Wittegen Press
$2.99 | £1.99
Amazon | Other
The film is a 12A so there was no gore, but it is not a plot that shies away from killing people. I always find it strange that just because they don't show blood and heads exploding it's okay to allow kids to see people dying left right and centre. I'm old school when on TV the goodies from the A-Team weren't actually allowed to hit anyone with their bullets :).

The action is good, the effects are superb and there is a nice balance between plot and explosions to keep everyone happy.

This is definitely a movie worth seeing, I enjoyed it immensely. I could quite easily go back and watch it again right now and I only saw it on Wednesday evening. This film has content for the action lovers, for those who like plot, for those who like well developed female characters and for the slashers as well. It almost ticks all the boxes. Go see this, it's fun.

Are you a Man from UNCLE fan? Have you seen the movie or are thinking of seeing it? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Are you a Napoleon or Illya or Gabby fan?


  1. Hi Tasha - I've thought about seeing this .. I'll see how I go - and I see it's still on here in the town.

    I gather Amy (about Amy Winehouse) is very good and well worth going to see - the film society are bringing that one down for a one day event here ...

    Cheers and thanks for the review ... cheers Hilary

    1. TMFO is worth seeing if you get the chance - lots of fun :)

      I haven't seen Amy, not really my kind of film, although it is the kind of thing I might catch on the movie channels when it gets that far.

  2. I'd been on the fence about seeing this one...glad to hear that it was a fun time! I'm with you on the A-Team and violence...no one seems to do that any more. It's hard to find good in-between stuff that you can watch with your kids.

    1. It was a toss up if we went to see MI:Rogue Nation or Man From UNCLE and I'm so glad we went to see this one - it was so much fun. :)

  3. Was a great fan of The Man from U.N.C.L.E series, so will try and catch this on Blue-Ray when it gets there - restricted in movie visits by my wheelchair.

    And thought Servalan in Blake 7 was brilliant... as was the series.

    1. I hope you don't have to wait too long for the Blu-ray - I will be adding it to my collection too :) I imagine it must be a pain - only the big screens at our cinema seem to have wheelchair seating - I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard for them to pull out a few seats to make room in the others.

      I have all 4 seasons of Blake's 7 on DVD and I watch 1 to 3 often - not really a fan of Avon goes nuts s4 though, although I do enjoy a few of the eps :)

    2. Long time since I watched Blake 7... seem to be catching up on The Prisoner at the moment, on Blue-Ray.

      Problem also with the wheelchair seats at almost all cinemas that have them, is that they are right at the front under the screen. I've always had problems watching if I'm that close - eye strain, and strained neck, being main problems. Prefer being midway - gather there are some like that, but not around here

    3. I never got into The Prisoner ... it was just too weird for me :)

      On of our big screens has the wheelchair spots at the back of the front block of seats - so not really far enough back, but at least not right at the front. I sympathise - I like to be midway back too, must be a royal pain always being stuck at the front.


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