The Man  From U.N.C.L.E.

Directed By: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Jared Harris, and Hugh Grant

Spy movies are in full supply this year, and moviegoers have been anything but disappointed.  Kingsman: Secret Service, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, and Spy have set a high bar for the spy flicks making their way to theaters in these later months, namely Spectre and this weekend's The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  All that being said, the reboot to the beloved television series on the fictional United Network Command for Law and Enforcement doesn't reach that bar.  It's a fun romp — nothing more, nothing less.

CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) has a very unique skill set and has been tasked with putting it to use to rescue and leverage Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) for a mission.  It's no small task because she's in Berlin, and he must get her over the wall.  It also doesn't help that KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) is hot on his trail and wants Gaby as well. Bullets are exchanged in a high speed chase, and Solo escapes with Gaby.  To his chagrin, his handler Saunders (Jared Harris) delivers the news that Solo will be partnering with the very same Kuryakin he evaded in Berlin to investigate a potential nuclear threat from the rich and powerful Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki).  From here, an unorthodox partnership, one that overcomes the heightened tensions between the two world superpowers, begins.

I'll be the first to admit that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is before my time.  That being said, this doesn't mean that I can't appreciate a good spy flick.  Guy Ritchie's latest adventure at the box office, however, doesn't quite fit that bill.  It's decent, but it's ordinary.  The story is like every other spy movie that has come out in the last half century.  The backdrop of the Cold War is standard for a spy flick.  The banter between the characters is typical of a Guy Ritchie movie.  Simply put, there's nothing structurally or stylistically original that distinguishes The Man From U.N.C.L.E. from any other spy movie, or any other generic action film for that matter.
All that being said, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. manages to be a halfway entertaining film.  With the Man of Steel and The Lone Ranger as the faces of the movie, that's no surprise.  Both bring plenty of charisma to the screen, and that helps to elevate otherwise ordinary material.  Similarly, Alicia Vikander, who's had a bit of a hot streak with Ex Machina and Testament of Youth, brings her best to the film and once again demonstrates her versatility.  It certainly helps that our trio is backed by veteran performers Hugh Grant and Jared Harris, who each bring some levity to the film in their limited but memorable roles.

Though I have my gripes, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is not the worst movie that's come my way this summer.  The reboot of this spy franchise gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a few glasses of Frascati with this one.