Man from U.N.C.L.E
Do you remember how the
James Bond movies used to be? A
twinkle in the eye, tongue planted firmly in cheek. Keep calm at all
times, even in perilous situationsÖ.especially in perilous situations.
Always have some good-looking young femme fatale around, whoís
definitely eye candy, but sheís also spunky, and not without her own
resources. Flirt, yes, but
nothing so lurid as actual consummation; as if the anticipation is more
interesting. Save the world?
Of course, but donít take yourself too seriously while doing
it. After all, style points
always count, also.
Henry Cavill plays
Napoleon Solo in this re-make of the 1960ís television series.
The United States and Russia were engaged in a Cold War that
involved lots of mutual spying, and there were few circumstances where
they would ever work together: except
here. In a decidedly 21st-century
twist, it seems some terrorists have gotten hold of a nuclear device,
and intend to use it. Solo
is forced to work with his Russian counterpart, Illya (Armie Hammer),
and also an East German whoís actually a British spy, Gaby (Alicia
Vikander). Heading up this
tri-lateral effort is none other than Hugh Grant, who knows something
about tongue-in-cheek insouciance, with all those romantic comedies of
the 1990ís. But here
heís actually serious, especially about holding together this unlikely
alliance of agents who donít know each other, donít trust each
other, and are always eager to prove the superiority of their own
training and background. Yes,
theyíre rivals even as they engage a common enemy, which
Director/Writer Guy Ritchie uses to definite advantage in maintaining
the relational tension even during all the breathtaking chase scenes.
Sure, the whole thing is
kind of an homage, but itís not a farce, and though comedic, itís
not superficial. Altogether
itís a fine blend of action/adventure with a real plot and engaging
characters. And best of all,
itís not so violent or scatological that it earns the R rating; itís
actually PG13. A pleasant
surprise for a late-summer popcorn flick.