Movies from Guy Ritchie generally assure stylish entertainment, which is combined with well-crafted smart jokes, clever plotting, and as observed in recent times, fast-paced action. But it seems this formula didn’t work as perfectly as it should have this time for the filmmaker, with his latest offering The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The plot takes place in the 60s and circles around a network of secret agents/spies who work for U.N.C.L.E. This unit polices the world from threats posed by T.H.R.U.S.H, the antagonist organization. The movie’s lead agents are the Russian Illya Kuryakin and American Napoleon Solo, The movie fails to properly clarify how these two individuals with contracting ideologies became partners, or how the formation of U.N.C.L.E. took place.
After a credit sequence highlighting the Cold War tensions and nuclear fear, the flick moves to Berlin in 1963, where Illya is working for the KGB and Napoleon for the CIA. Being on different sides, they share the same mission, which is to find the whereabouts of and extract Gaby Teller. She is Dr. Udo Teller’s daughter, who was once a scientist greatly admired by Hitler, and knows many secrets about nuclear weapons.
The plot compels the spies to work together, as they have contrasting skills that make them a good complementary force for each other. Solo is a man with a wild personality: anti-establishment and unorthodox, and previously was on the wrong side of the law, and was blackmailed into service. But with his hard work, he became one of CIA’s top agents, whereas Kuryakin is his exact opposite, a KGB agent for whom the job’s rules strictly dictate his entire life.
The movie has a decent storyline, and the leading pair delivers solid performances, but they lack the chemistry needed to make the script work and elevate it to a different level.
Although missing that touch of perfection, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. still has enough charisma to give its viewers an entertaining time.
Photo credit: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie