The Man from U.N.C.L.E. review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. manages to be the most average action movie out there without being mediocre in the slightest, a feat rarely (if ever) accomplished by movie makers nowadays. The undeniable chemistry between leads Cavill and Hammer propels the experience forward without allowing it to ever become boring, but all events play almost too safe for it to become the clever, witty, amusing spy movie it desperately wants to be.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has all constituents of a spy/action flick which unfortunately are realized almost too formulaic following a spy/action flick pattern. One can say the movie’s never boring, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say it’s also entertaining at times. But, what’s missing at its core is a soul (I’m looking at you – generic movie Hollywood machinery) onto which a decent story should be latched, and events with causality and dependence upon one another should unravel – instead of the infamous “this happened, and then this happened, and then…” – you get the overall idea.
In continuation, and one cannot avoid but ask the question: what happened with Guy Ritchie’s signature shots, motifs and camera angles? Has the final thread of creativity and innovation fallen under the corporate umbrella of the always-thirsty movie-making machine? If so, where are the convention-defying artists that make whole movements sprout out of the melancholy of the ordinary? Well, for starters, you’ll not find them here. To avoid extensive rhetoric, what I’m trying to say is aside from few scenes - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is unimaginative and too formulaic for its own good.
Talking about positives, and we’re getting an-always vibrant Armie Hammer playing a Russian assassin who goes by the name Illya, and whose backstory checks all marks of your stereotypical “agent-turned-rogue” convention. If only somehow the script was better, but oh well – freelance writers have to make a living one way or the other.
Not all is that average however - one scene in particular stuck within my brain: without revealing anything, it plays like a ballet of images and sounds, an idiosyncratic, juxtaposed dance with high stakes and uninvolved characters that show little to no interest to said stakes, and choose to include themselves in alcoholic beverages while others fight for their life. Its seriousness makes it a rather amusing piece that differs from the rest of the movie, in tone, humor and otherwise. Who knew that Guy Ritchie still had it in himself after all this time?
Finally, whether or not it’s worth the time, it’s left for you to decide. Remember however, if you’ve seen Bond’s suave demeanor, Bourne’s martial arts skills and Johnny English’s over-the-top misadventures – then you’ve probably seen 95% of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
P.S. Whether or not it’s an adaptation from a 70’s popular TV series doesn’t add anything to this review in the slightest bit.