Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Sylvester Groth, Luca Calvani, Christian Berkel, Jared Harris, Hugh Grant
Remakes and reboots are common place in Hollywood. Studios love them because they are largely safe. While an original idea is risky, a remake gives you instant name recognition and a pre-existing audience. At least that is the thinking. But Guy Ritchie’s latest film, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., is a remake of a television series that ran from 1964-1968, half a century ago, that carries zero cultural cache with the target demographic for this spy actioner, which begs the question: why?
As is to be expected, we go back to the beginning. This is an origin story, describing how U.N.C.L.E., the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, came about. We begin in East Berlin in 1963, where American CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) has been sent on an extraction mission to transport beautiful, young auto-mechanic Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) across the Iron Curtain. Between Solo and safety is Ukranian KGB operative Illya Kuriyakin (Armie Hammer) who is also after Teller. An exhilarating car chase ensues, one only slightly undermined by the stodgy communist bloc Trabants they are driving. Continue reading