Henry Cavill is a top C.I.A agent who is tasked with finding a nuclear device that could spell trouble for the world at large. However this task becomes more complicated when he is forced to team up with the K.G.B’s top man: Armie Hammer.
To say that Guy Ritchie’s career has had ups and downs would be somewhat of an understatement. So now when it’s announced that he is about to make a new movie I never know what to expect. So I went into this with a completely open mind. And you know what I really liked it. I’d actually go as far as to say that it’s Ritchie’s most accomplished film.
The movie starts off with its best set-piece a brilliant fast paced car chase through East Germany, and then after that it settles down into the main body of the film. Which is gentler and is mostly made up of snooping around and exchanging quips. And while U.N.C.L.E. never quite matches the brilliance of its opening set piece, it retains interest throughout and I really warmed to most of the characters. This is the best characterisation I have ever seen in a Ritchie outing by quite some distance. Of course not all the characters are brilliant. Elizabeth Debicki’s villain is relatively simplistic and Armie Hammer never truly realises the development potential of his character.
Actually Armie Hammer is my one niggle with the film. I think his role had potential for a lot of depth, but he just never carried it off. Settling for Russian with a temper instead. The thing is I’m not really sure if his character’s lack in likeability is down to his underwhelming performance or that he’s been written to be unlikeable. Either way his role in the film is mostly to be the subject of the far more charismatic Henry Cavill’s quips.
However Armie Hammer aside. This is a more than enjoyable spy film. It harks back to the Connery bond for all the best reasons. And the whole design of the film is superb, the costumes, the sets, the music. It’s a sensory delight. Ritchie in the past has sometimes fallen foul of thinking a good soundtrack comes from slapping songs you like in your film at regular intervals. But he has finally learnt that this is not the case, and as such the soundtrack here is spot on. If it weren’t for the well written female characters and high quality visuals you’d actually think this was a 60’s movie. And a damn good one at that.
Overall, while it doesn’t atone for Revolver, Ritchie has just about re-secured his name as being synonymous with quality film making. And coming from where he was at ten years ago that is quite the achievement. Properly enjoyable spy thriller.