Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers:  Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, Jeff Kleeman, David C. Wilson
Cast:       Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Hugh Grant

In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

The only films from Guy Ritchie that I had seen prior to this were 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' and 'Snatch' and both of them were great. But the amount of credit that gets attributed to Guy Ritchie for their greatness is debatable since both of them also involved Matthew Vaughn as executive producer and the films that Ritchie made subsequently have not been that well-received critically. Matthew Vaughn went on to direct some pretty decent films in Layer Cake, Kick-Ass and Kingsmen: The Secret Service. I had in fact seen bits of Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes film which I turned off pretty sharpish. So I didn't have much hopes going into this film and just wanted some mindless fun.

2015 pitted Ritchie against Vaughn as both of them came out with two films from the same genre. I gotta say Vaughn came slightly ahead in that battle with his Kingsmen film, which was done in an over the top genre-bending fashion and was rather fun. TMfUncle begins in Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin as the CIA dude crosses the border to secure the daughter (Alicia Vikander) of a missing rocket scientist and gets followed by the KGB agent. They all get acquainted with each other during a set-piece and are assigned a common mission after that. I found the film to be quite boring up till the half way point as the humor that they were going for didn't exactly work for me. Their interactions were curious enough but I was really bored. It picks up from the half-way point and the second half of the film is rather good. There are some great editing flourishes during some action set-pieces and the background music was fresh and interesting. A British film without British Spies will be odd and so Hugh Grant emerges to fill that vacuum. 

So, to sum up, first half the film is pretty boring and the second half is rather good making it, overall, a pretty decent one-time watch. Didn't care much for the performances and I am not a big fan of Henry Cavill. You don't put too much effort in picking plot-holes in it since you are anyway in a suspend your disbelief mode to watch these sort of films. Unless they are just stretching it too far, like it was in Skyfall with that tube train sequence.  The film didn't do very well at the box office and so we won't probably get a sequel, which is about right. Am rather sick of these franchises and occasional Bourne, Bond and MI films are just about enough to satisfy all kind of audiences.

PS: I had to type this shit twice as the Blogger chose to Autosave just when I did an accidental Ctrl Z. FFS Blogger.

Rating: 2.5/5