Sunday, August 16, 2015

"The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (2015)

I need to see this movie again.

There had better be a showtime that works next weekend, because I need to see it again.

Partly I need to see it again because I want to decide if I liked it or if I loved it, and I'm having trouble deciding.  Because it wasn't an automatic love, but I think it could be an acquired love.  Like The Lone Ranger (2013) -- the first time I saw that, I said in my review, "Did I love it? Maybe. Did I like it? Absolutely. Will I buy the DVD? Definitely."  Same goes for The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  (And weirdly enough, they both star Armie Hammer.)

Okay, so basically this is a spy romp with a tangy old-school flavor and a nothing-is-all-that-serious texture.  The whole world is not in danger, the human race is not about to be exterminated, no one is going to wipe out the electronic records of an entire nation or kill the US President or expose every secret agent the US has.  Someone is trying to build a nuclear bomb.  That's bad, but that's not oh-my-goodness-the-fate-of-the-universe-hangs-in-the-balance bad.  Which is great, because it gives this whole movie a more relaxed feel.  We can laugh.  There can be sight gags and double-entedres and funny little jokes, and they don't feel out of place.

There can also be an utterly sweet, sad, lonely, mighty, smart, resourceful, determined, broad-shouldered, strong-jawed, baby-faced, Russian-accented spy named Illy Kuryakin (Armie Hammer).

(Source)

And there's also this other guy named Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) who looks nice in a suit and likes to steal stuff.  He's an American secret agent, and Illya is a Russian secret agent, but they have to stop punching each other and start punching other people together in order to stop the bad guys trying to build a bomb, etc.

(I don't know where I found this because I've had it a while.)
(Also, Armie's hair is better in the movie than in this photo.)

Also, there's a girl named Gaby (Alicia Vikander) who is all mixed up in the plot, which I don't feel like detailing, but she was so much fun -- smart and sassy and savvy and cool.  Also, an auto mechanic.  Also, she got the coolest '60s clothes.

(Source)
I adored the '60s setting, all the cool clothes and cars and buildings and hair -- I watched so many '60s movies growing up that I almost feel at home in that era, and so this was like a wonderful nostalgia trip for me even though I wasn't born until 1980.

So if you're looking for a lighter spy movie to relax with before the summer ends, please go see this!  It's a good ride.

Ahh, but is it family friendly?  Um, not totally.  A very small amount of bad language, almost entirely slang words for various body parts.  No taking of God's name in vain that I recall.  There's a shot of a woman from behind who is only wearing panties, and she turns so you can see the outline of more, but it's a silhouette and very vague.  There's quite a bit of suggestive material like what you would find in a '70s James Bond movie -- the implication that people are having sex, a guy and a girl wrestling -- lots of suggestion, no actual love scenes.  Still, not something I'd take young teens to.  There's also quite a bit of violence, a character with anger management issues and the mention of psychotic episodes, and a torture sequence that made me worry and squirm, though it wasn't graphic.  Very low on blood and guts, as most of the violence is implied.

Finally, I leave you with this picture of the original Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) from the 1960s TV show.  My mom had the hugest crush on this version of Illya, so I'm finding it amusing that one of my own favorite actors is now playing him.


14 comments:

  1. This movie is definitely on my to watch list. I came across the trailer randomly a couple weeks ago and it really perked my interest. Not to mention Armie Hammer is just awesome!

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    1. Meanderings, it is so worth the price of a ticket. A couple hours of escapism with handsome men and beautiful women and exciting stuff happening every few minutes -- that's my idea of a fun summer movie, anyway!

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  2. I just sent the link to this to my husband. He watched the trailer and didn't think it looked that great. I'd like to see it though because sometimes I get just a little tired of the heavier plots. Something lighter would be oh-so-nice for a change.

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    1. Jennifer, it's not fine art by any means. But it is fun. And yes, such a nice change from the heavier "everything depends on you" kinds of plots.

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    1. Jessica, me too. And I don't even like the color orange.

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  4. Glad you liked it Hamlette, nice review! I'm pretty sure I'd like it, if only for the cast and the era -- and the fun style. A movie can be pretty bad otherwise and be completely saved by entertaining us with fun! I'm beginning to doubt I should see it in theaters though, and maybe wait until I can have fast-forwarding capabilities... just in case. :P Right now my family's more interested in a second viewing of M:I5 anyway. But I don't doubt we'll be seeing this one eventually! It looks and sound like it's a blast! :)

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    1. Sarah, thanks! The cast, style, era -- they're all great. But I hear you on wanting to have fast-forwarding available if you feel you need it. Definitely see it on DVD if you don't go to the theater!

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  5. I had some of the same thoughts as you, Hamlette... but overall, I'm pretty sure I loved this one. It's a smart, sassy and stylish film. I like that it was as much about smarts as the action. Plus, the cast was of course a big draw. Glad you liked it. :)

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    1. Rissi, I have a hunch that a second viewing will bump me up from liked to love. That happens a lot. Glad you dug it too!!!

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  6. My sister has an interest in this one, but I think she's planning to go alone, which is okay with me. I never did watch the show, and the trailer really didn't snag my interest all that much. I will watch it on DVD, though. :)

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    1. The trailer does not capture the film's joie de vivre very well -- it's much more serious than the movie itself, I think. Several people I know, both in real life or in the blogosphere, have said that they liked it so much more than they'd expected to based on the trailer. Just so you know!

      I've never watched the TV show either.

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  7. I love this movie so much. I really want to go see it again too. Your description of Illya fits to a T. The 60s styles and music were great too.

    BTW, is the upper left-hand picture in your header from The Lone Ranger (2013)?

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    1. Sarah, I saw it a second time last weekend, and that bumped me from "like" to "love" on it. It's like going on a vacation to the '60s! I'm actually hoping to see it a third time this weekend, if showtimes oblige.

      And yes, that's Dan Reid and some deputies waiting for the train at the beginning of the 2013 Lone Ranger, which I just watched again (for the 8th? 9th? 10th? time... I've lost count) over the last two nights.

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Agree or disagree? That is the question...

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