Throwback Thursday Review: “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” Out Bonds James Bond (2015)



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Posted April 21, 2016 by

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I know that Throwback Thursday reviews are supposed to be reserved for films from the past that you may have forgotten about, still love but haven’t watched in forever, or hated and now may have the chance to be a cult classic. I’m using this week, however, to shine light on Guy Ritchie’s secret agent film “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” because a lot of you may have skipped it and that is a shame. “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” was a popular television show in 1964. Starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, the show ran for four seasons and even spawned a spinoff called “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.”. You may have missed it. God knows I did. Fortunately for us though, Ritchie decided in 2015 to revive the story and bring it to the big screen.

Guy Ritchie hit the filmmaking scene in 1998 with his hit crime film “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” following that up with the successful “Snatch”. Both movies introduced Jason Statham to the world and are arguably his best roles. They also showcased an exciting brand of filmmaking that felt new and interesting. Unfortunately after “Snatch”, Ritchie fell in love with Madonna and ended up remaking the film “Swept Away” — One of the worst movies to date and single-handedly taking down Ritchie’s once promising career for a while. He tried to reclaim some of his earlier glory by casting Statham in the leading role of “Revolver” — a movie that had good intentions but felt like a direct-to-DVD release that didn’t impress too many — and unfortunately the flop of that film overshadowed his next release “RocknRolla” which was actually a return to form for Ritchie and is a completely underrated film.


The reason I bring all of this up is because I understand why people stopped caring that Ritchie’s name was attached to a film. It makes complete sense. Hell, I was one of the people that claimed he was done. So after two Sherlock Holmes movies which were, let’s be honest, “eh” at best, Ritchie has returned to his criminal roots with his latest film “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”. This movie does everything you’ve wanted a Bond film to do; high-octane action, subtle comedy, twists-and-turns in the plot and all the while never treating the audience like they’re stupid. This movie is so much fun to watch you immediately forgive Ritchie for his past transgressions. It’s actually such an enjoyable movie, you find yourself liking Henry Cavill despite him being in those terrible Superman movies (in his defense: Superman will never be enjoyable ever again. We’ve seen the end of it. Let’s just let it go) and the same goes for Armie Hammer and the fact that he was in that too-long-and-over-boring re-imagining of “The Lone Ranger”. So not only has Ritchie delivered a good movie again, he’s helped save three careers at one time.

“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” is everything that’s been good about spy shows and movies that have become before it while also turning things up a notch. Some of the twists are a little predictable but you’ll be having so much fun you won’t really care; they’re not enough to ruin the movie in any way. All I’m asking is that you give it a shot. Forgive Guy and his two terrible films. Forgive Cavill and Hammer for their once poor choices. Enjoy Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina) and her bad-assness.  What do you have to lose? While you’re at it, pop in “RocknRolla” as well; you won’t be disappointed.






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