The Man from U.N.C.L.E (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) is most likely not a television show that people will remember from their childhood or have even experienced in reruns. Besides taking the title and the basic concept of the show, this espionage excursion does provide a fresh take on the spy game. Placed on the backdrop of the Cold War and the 1960’s, director Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) incorporates a style of film making that is less Bourne and more retro-Bond.
Well-dressed, cliched agents with well-timed dialogue that takes front stage over action. Not that there is not action, but the action that is provided is more stylised and methodical.
The central characters of the latest Ritchie production are CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer). Two agents who must put aside their national loyalties to work together to bring down a criminal organisation that is profiting from the burgeoning nuclear weapons market.
Adding a link between these two agents is the sensual and fiery Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), who provides the means of finding the well-connected arms dealers. This origins-type spy story has a different pacing, action and spirit that counteracts the current tradition in foreign agent adventures.
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