Film Review: “The Man from UNCLE”

In a summer full of yet more stupid vampire, dragon, animation, monster and trying-to-be-funny movies, you have to be thankful for any spy movie that makes waiting for the next James Bond film a bit easier. Even if it’s not a particularly good one.

Actually, it’s better to treat The Man from UNCLE not as a spy movie, but as a period piece about the 1960s, for otherwise you might get disappointed. The plot is not particularly complicated, and if the film was set in the present, nobody would watch it. But these suits, these glasses, these cars, these colors, the interior design of the 1960s! It’s like leafing through a very old IKEA catalog.

Unfortunately, the actors aren’t more than models showing off the fashion of the time. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t remarkable either. Well, actually, Alicia Vikander is bad. She plays a German and has some lines in that language. I could only make them out thanks to the Romanian subtitles (although I am German and don’t speak any Romanian). Seriously, if you have to learn only a few lines of text and you can shoot the scene as often as possible, is it too much to ask to make an effort? Just ask Christoph Waltz how to do it. Veteran actor Hugh Grant who plays a minor role thus easily steals the show and has the film’s best line (“For a special agent, you are not having a very special day, are you?”).

The Man from UNCLE is one of these films which are nice to watch, but nobody would go for a second serving. Nothing spectacular, yet entertaining. The perfect movie for a date because you can easily chat (and more) in between without missing out on much. I mean, if someone can distract me from a spy movie, it can’t have been too good. That, or the girl was really cute.


About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Cinema, Cold War and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Film Review: “The Man from UNCLE”

  1. bryan says:

    Tom Hanks has a new spy movie coming out soon that I’m looking forward to It’s directed by Spielberg and written by the Coen brothers. Seems promising.

    • Thanks for that tip!
      Yes, that’s exactly the kind of movie I like. Here is the trailer:

      It’s interesting that “Bridge of Spies” is set in the same time as “The Man from UNCLE”, but it’s much more dark, sinister, grey, eerie than the lush and colorful “UNCLE”. I wasn’t around yet in the 1960s, but “Bridge of Spies” is probably more realistic.

  2. MS says:

    Yes I agree, I think making a period film makes up for the storyline. Like a great packaging on a not so great product. Yawn

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