The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a spy/heist film directed by Guy Ritchie that tells a story where the CIA and KGB work together to acquire nuclear weapon technology from a mysterious new terror group trying to proliferate this technology. It stars Henry Cavill (Napolean Solo with the CIA) and Armie Hammer (Illya Kuryakin with the KGB) with Alicia Vikander (Gaby) & Elizabeth Debicki (Victoria).
The film starts off with Solo (Cavill) locating Gaby (Alicia) and explaining the overall plot of the film. From there the film wastes no time by jumping to a car chase through the streets of Berlin with gun shots, cars being destroyed with Solo and Gaby also running and jumping their way across town to escape over the Berlin Wall while being chased by Illya (Hammer). From there the film takes the viewers on such a fun and entertaining trip through Europe in the 1960’s. The on screen chemistry between Cavill and Hammer is so enjoyable as Ritchie shows the audience how brain and brawn can work together to solve the problems currently facing the world during the Cold War era. Even during certain action sequences Ritchie allows some tongue in cheek humor to slide to the forefront giving the audience time to laugh a little while shots are being fired and the heroes are being pursued.
There’s action, laughter & great music. The score & soundtrack are entertaining on their own right and only add to the fun and adventure happening on screen. Is it a little cliché and campy? Yes, at times, but the movie in general is just so much fun it adds to this film. After watching “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”, one could get the feeling that the movie is self aware and attempts to capitalize on the humor and adventure present within the story.
The box office numbers were not spectacular for this film unfortunately. Timing the release two weeks away from the new Mission Impossible film was smart as folks would generally lean towards a Mission Impossible film because it’s such an established property that typically delivers. Additionally, Tom Cruise will continue to draw in crowds of eager moviegoers who can’t wait to see what new action stunt he’s about to perform. Two week separation was an intelligent and strategic move for a competing spy film. However, the “Straight Outta Compton” film pulled incredible numbers for an opening weekend in August. The nostalgia factor and overall notoriety of the story certainly pulled viewers from “Man from UNCLE” since this story (Man From UNCLE) hasn’t been popular since the 1960’s on television. There really isn’t much of a surprise as far as the box office numbers show but word of mouth might carry this enjoyable film into the $50-60 million spot, overall while in theaters. Unfortunately that might not be enough to get Hollywood onboard for a sequel. The estimated budget on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” was $75 million and opening weekend only pulled in approximately $15 million, which as far as Hollywood is concerned, is a box office bomb. Now, maybe, the DVD and BLU-Ray sales will see some revenue but that isn’t an indicator for how successful this film was while in theaters and probably won’t justify a sequel which is, again, unfortunate.
In closing, Guy Ritchie delivers an enjoyable movie for everyone and if you have the time and money there’s no reason to miss this while it’s in theaters. If you prefer a matinee ticket that’s less expensive or you wanna take your sweetheart out on a date, this is a fun movie for both occasions.
Two thumbs up!