[FILM] The Man from U.N.C.L.E. + A little of Fantastic Four

Posted on: August 14, 2015, by :

This film review and critique is the first by Leland Chow which is reposted here. Leland is a junior reading Finance, minor in communication & economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Since this is technically my first review, I would like to explain some of the features I would use in my blog. The title, as you could see has hard brackets ([ and ]) first. This denotes the category I will be writing about. This is followed by the title of the post, which is usually the title of the film, music, or something that I want to write about specifically. Sometimes, a plus (+) sign is used to denote that I will also be writing about another film, music or other things. In this post, I will be writing about a film that is released on 14 August 2015, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., but in the theater near where I live, most, if not some, films are released a night earlier. Therefore, I have actually watched this on 13 August.

Without giving too much details (for now), The Man from U.N.C.L.E., or in short UNCLE, showcases an American spy and a Russian spy being forced to work together during the Cold War to, in general, save the world. This film is based on the 1964 television series of the same name that featured David McCallum as the Russian spy, Illya Kuryakin, and Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo. People might recognize McCallum’s name because he currently portrays as Ducky Mallard, one of the major characters in NCIS, and Professor Paradox in the Ben 10 series.
This film adaptation stars Henry Cavill (Superman, Man of Steel) as Napoleon Solo, and Armie Hammer (the title character in The Lone Ranger) as Illya Kuryakin. The female lead is Alicia Vikander (Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth), who portrays as Gabriella “Gaby” Teller. In the film, Cavill’s Napoleon Solo is charming, handsome, and quite a womanizer, dressed up very neatly (and probably very expensive as well), and speaks in a calm manner. Hammer’s Illya Kuryakin can be considered to be Cavill’s polar opposite. Kuryakin is quiet, dressed up more casually, and speaks in a less calm manner, sensing that he has slight temper issues.

Cavill’s portrayal of Solo was simply breathtaking and funny, and it was very enjoyable watching him being Napoleon Solo because he can crack a joke while speaking in a calm manner. Hammer’s portrayal of Kuryakin also did not disappoint because his Russian accent was quite convincing, and his background with a troubled family did aid in explaining his temper issues.
However, the film is not without its flaws. The plot was enough to explain the reason of the creation of UNCLE, but not enough to explain the backstory of both Solo and Kuryakin. I was left dumbfounded on what exactly did Illya Kuryakin’s father do to be a shame of Russia. Conversely, Solo’s backstory was well-explained, but it had not a lot of information of how exactly did Solo get caught stealing expensive artifacts. Besides, the plot itself, although sufficient to explain the creation of the agency, was not entirely interesting because it followed the standard spy film: Damsel in distress, saving the damsel, receiving mission, meeting the antagonists, spy in trouble, spy receives help from another character, spy manages to save the world. As you might be able to see, the flowchart is the standard flowchart used in spy films, and UNCLE used a similar formula.

In general, I, as a typical moviegoer, enjoyed this film for its funniness and sexiness (Cavill and Vikander). UNCLE, however, cannot be compared to Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, because both of them had different settings, though they are both spy films.
Rating: 4/5
(Why did I give such a high rating? As much as I found flaws to the film, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and would be willing to watch it again.)

Fantastic Four
I did not watch Fantastic Four, not only because of its very low rating on Rotten Tomatoes (8%), but also because I felt that they did not have to remake the film. However, my largest issue was the casting of Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic or Reed Richards, because I did think that Miles Teller was not the most suitable actor to portray as Reed Richards, as the Reed Richards I have read about was more matured. Miles Teller did not have the mature vibe, but he had a face that I could see that can portray an evil character. Unfortunately, Reed Richards did not have an evil-looking face.
Rating: 0/5
P. S. This is my first full-scale review on a film. I have never written reviews for films for this length. Hence, I do apologize if it is not up to the standards of a typical film critic.

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