The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – Film Review
Spy films have been heavily prevalent in 2015 with this being the fourth film of the year to be in the genre. In many ways this film does stand out from its counter parts to step away from being forgotten. There are some issues with tension and editing that I had with the film that bothered me. Guy Ritchie is good director but after seeing the first Sherlock Holmes in 2009, I could tell he borrowed a lot of the style of that film and infused it into here. Some scenes didn’t land correctly where it took me out of the film instead of draw me deep into the plot.
The style of the film is very well executed. Flair of the 60’s fashion were well done and you felt that you were in the time period. It felt slightly romanticized but not overtly done to were you felt it didn’t exist. The cars and the clothes really did sell the time period. The production design was well done and nothing felt as though it was currently existing or out of place. The music in the film helped set the tone and the style, though at times it was used in scenes it was used awkwardly. Scenes were dragged out to add tension or style but sometimes fell flat.
Are they still following us?… Is there one of them?… Is he looking at us?… Does he have just one hand on the steering wheel?… When you hear something that sounds like a gunshot, drive.
Guy Ritchie definitely made his style known with this film. It felt very similar to Sherlock Holmes in that it revisited scenes with dialogue re-inserted to give the audience more context of why the scene played out as it did. He did use some split screen scenes were you had to keep your eyes in every corner to see what was happening with the action. Some of the style made it feel like a Grindhouse style picture combined with a James Bond film. I liked the style I just felt the film could have been edited better with timing.
Out of the actors, Alicia Vikander stood out the most as the character who was most developed. We knew most of her backstory and her role over the film changes. Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill felt like one main character split into two trying to be the star. They felt like equals but either wasn’t fully developed to where you fully connected with either one of them. There were many hints at the characters backstory but never enough to make us care about them as much. I wish that they had developed Illya and Napoleon more as well rounded people. Hugh Grant was great but I wish he had been in the film more and the villain of the film was solid. It was refreshing for the villain to be a smart female character. For the future, if they continue this franchise I hope they do something more character driven.