Repeat Watch: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Based on the 1960’s television series of the same name, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was directed by Guy Ritchie with the script penned by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram. The film starred Henry Cavill as CIA Agent Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as KGB operative Ilya Kuryakin. The story follows Solo and Kuryakin as they first seek to recover the same person and then later as they are forced to team up to foil a nuclear plot by Nazi sympathizers. The cast also included Alicia Vikander as Gabriella Teller and Elizabeth Debicki as Victoria Vinciguerra. The film was released on August 14, 2015, and overall, the film received mixed to slightly positive reviews. It ended up being a box office flop; however, I believe this movie is worth watching over and over again, despite some lukewarm reviews.
So, what makes it worthy of a repeat watch?
1. The Humor
This movie is absolutely hilarious to me, and one of the main reasons I enjoy watching it again and again. It has its fair share of one liners, but for this film, it’s about so much more than that. They use music effectively to add to the comedic atmosphere, and a lot of the humor is drawn from the performances of Cavill, Hammer, and Vikander itself. It’s found in their subtle facial expressions, in their hesitations, and even in the physicality of their roles. You cannot help but chuckle at Vikander’s dancing in the hotel room, and the scene with Cavill in the delivery truck is one of the best scenes in the film.
2. The Dynamic Between Kuryakin and Solo
The dynamic between the two leads is part of what makes this movie work. Both of their characters are incredibly flawed, and while they are opposite in so many ways, they are the best in their agencies. Kuryakin had a terrible childhood and has some unmanageable anger issues. He’s not easy to converse with or get to know and has a frightening amount of brute strength. Solo, on the other hand, is a former military man turned criminal. He’s incredibly smooth and has an irresistible charm about him. They are constantly competing throughout the film, and their nicknames for one another help solidify their unlikely partnership.
3. Pays Homage to the Source Material
While this might seem like an odd point to have, I really do love the movie for the ways that it did pay homage to the source material. I’ve watched the original show with my Dad quite a bit, and while it is clearly from the 60’s, it has the same sensibilities presented in the film. The mission and the many problems they face along the way feels like multiple episodes of the show. More importantly, they stayed true to Solo’s irresistible charisma, which is part of what defines that character, and the humor that defined the two main characters’ interactions.
So, while I feel there are more reasons to watch this film, I’ve limited myself to only three reasons. It truly is a fun spy film with an abundance of humor. They also craft several important reveals in creative ways, which I have come to appreciate a great deal in repeat watching. With that said, I suggest The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for any upcoming movie night for anyone who loves the action/spy film genre.