Director Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes) with screenwriting partner Lionel Wigram release The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a retelling of the classic 60’s spy show of the same name.
The story takes place in the 1960’s at the height of the Cold War. CIA operative, Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill), and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), must put aside their differences in order to stop an evil organization that is determined to shift the balance of power through the use of nuclear weapons.
Fans of The Avengers, The Saint and the early James Bond films, will surely enjoy Ritchie and Wigram’s homage to earlier espionage films and T.V. shows of old. Unfortunately Ritchie and Wigram borrow too heavily from these shows to the point where audiences never really get amazed. Most twists and turns are easily anticipated and the film is devoid of any real tension or surprises.
Thankfully however the shortcomings of the screenplay can be over looked due to Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer’s great portrayal of Solo and Kuryakin. Also, Ritchie and Wigram were spot on with the look and feel of the 60’s espionage genre.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a light heart hearted entertaining film and provides a somewhat solid foundation for future installments. If a second Man From U.N.C.L.E., is made, hopefully Ritchie and Wigram can provide a story worthy of Cavill and Hammer’s obvious chemistry and enthusiasm.