Sunday, March 12, 2017

Just Finished Watching... The Man From U.N.C.L.E


Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I'm not a movie buff. If given the choice I'll always watch a TV show. But I decided last night to dig up something on Netflix. The last movie I watched was Superman: Man of Steel with Henry Cavill. I found his portrayal of Superman brought a... I don't want to say darkness. Maybe an intensity (???) to the role of Clark Kent/Superman that hadn't been seen before.
So I thought another Henry Cavill movie might be just the thing.
What I didn't see coming was that his character wouldn't be the hero of this movie. I mean, his character was a hero -- usually one that I love, one of those ones where you never quite know if they're bad or good. He played Napoleon Solo, who'd been a young soldier in WWII, who stayed on in Europe after the war finished, but ended up making himself rich and becoming a career thief. When he was captured, the US government offered him a job in the CIA instead of jail time, so he became one of their best agents.
But I'm sorry to say, as well as Mr. Cavill portrayed his role, he was totally out-shone by Armie Hammer, who played a Russian spy Solo was forced to team up with to stop a nuclear bomb being built and delivered to the Nazis.
I'm not sure if it's because Hammer's role of Illya Kuryakin, (I think Solo called him Peril, as in Red Peril? Someone correct me if I'm wrong. While he called Solo Cowboy) had more depth, or that Hammer simply brought extra game, but I was definitely more interested in his story arc throughout the movie. Next on my list, I now want to watch The Lone Ranger, in which Hammer had the starring role next to Johnny Depp, even though I'd heard that movie got canned because of Depp's portrayal of an Indigenous American (sorry if that's not the PC term. Indigenous Australian is the correct term here).  
Of course, I probably can't go without mentioning the pseudo-love story. There's always a girl, and in this case it was the daughter of the scientist building the nuke. Solo goes in for her first, but Kuryakin is not far behind. At first it seems the not-so-damsel in distress is going to be Solo's love interest. At least that was my assumption. But once Solo is paired with Kuryakin, the former takes more of an independent role, while the latter assumes the cover of being Gaby's fiancee.
You could say it's one of those forced-proximity things, but Gaby and Kuryakin have pretty good chemistry from the get-go. This only builds as she proves she can take care of herself, and the twist of the movie is revealed.
These crazy kids almost-kiss three times (or was it four?) with each subsequent almost-kiss heightening the tension between them. But every time, something or someone interrupted them.
At the end of the movie, it looked like they were all set to go their separate ways, until they get the information that their little trio has been tasked to stay together for the time being and form the group U.N.C.L.E. Which stands for United Network Command for Law Enforcement.
So of course I immediately googled to see if there was a second movie coming out and when. Luckily there is (at this point in time anyway) but it's not slated to release until 2019, which is not surprising since it was considered a flop. Probably lucky it's getting a sequel at all. Still, I really enjoyed this movie -- it had a great balance of action, suspense, deadpan comedy, the almost-love-arc and actors who gave it that little extra something.