The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


Guy Ritchie has written and directed a beautiful motion picture with beautiful people in the leads but a frustratingly inert story and, alas, the promise of a sequel. I was a child when the original Cold War spy series Man From U.N.C.L.E. was broadcast ('64-'68) and spawned a weak sister of a spin-off, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. ('66-'67). I ate up the intrigue, clever devices and campy guest stars; maybe I've lost my appetite for this variety of tongue-in-cheek caper films although still devour Ritchie's usual cinematic fare. The film stars three Hollywood beauties -- Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo, Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin and Alicia Vikander as Gaby Teller -- as undercover operatives in beautiful mod fashions trying to wrest a nuclear bomb away from a beautiful and murderous Italian family led by a ruthless aristocratic beauty (Elizabeth Debicki). Despite an interesting set up, the picture doesn't deliver the usual Ritchie punch, in every sense of the word; in fact, it's a Guy Ritchie production seemingly without Guy Ritchie. But, man, is it beautiful!

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