The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

It's fair to say the trailer for this film did the opposite of what trailers are supposed to do, which is excite and entice the potential audience to watch the film upon its release. The trailer was piss poor. Mainly because it presented Guy Ritchie's latest action film to be yet another sleazy, archetypal production of smooth talking spies and their somewhat satirical accents (particularly Armie Hammer's portrayal of a Russian).

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is, in fact, bearable. It's ok. It's not bad, but it's not great. In keeping with the style and tone of the original 60's TV series it's based on, there's lots of split screens and overpowering music and everything that was offensively brash to begin with is exaggerated to become even more pompous. There is, of course, the quintessential shoot out scene involving the two main protagonists against a whole squadron of armed professionals, yet make a miraculous escape unharmed.

The suits are sharp and the prints gaudy, there are witty back and forths but the real subject of the humour is the feud of patriotism between the US and Russia, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, the lead spies, bitchily debate which women's designer clothes compliment each other. Solo makes a risotto with truffles. It all seems like a desperate attempt to keep up with the modern crime drama films set in bygone eras that have garnered a cult following because of their trendiness (American Hustle, Gangster Squad). There is some superb camerawork and lighting, much like Ritchie's adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, but even that becomes a bit tired.

What it lacks in a engaging characters, it makes up for in ludicrous displays of wealth, privilege and power. It could easily be mistaken as a feature length, hyped up version of a whiskey advertisement, when all gripes are forgotten at the climax of the film because they've worked real hard at whopping some ass so now they're winding down with a nice serving of scotch.

In all seriousness, the real star of this film is Henry Cavill's jawline. That, and David Beckham's one second cameo as a projectionist.

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