When I sang the praises of the original The Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series the other day, I had very strong misgivings about the movie.
This afternoon I saw the big screen version of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. While I still prefer the original, the movie is better than I expected.
Both Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer were good as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, respectively. I didn’t quite like the backstory they gave Solo though. He was a black market war profiteer turned art thief. With that background, Solo reminded my roommate and I of Neil Caffrey on the USA Network TV series White Collar. That Cavill bears a remarkable resemblance to Matt Bomer (the actor who played Caffrey) was not lost on either of us. Nevertheless, Cavill and Hammer had good chemistry with each other and Hugh Grant was his usual charming self as Alexander Waverly albeit with limited screen time.
There were some small details that bothered us. No one smoked in the movie. It was a Cold War story set in the early ’60’s. Everybody smoked back then. The fact that the closing credits boasted that no tobacco products were used in the making of the movie illustrates yet again the absurdity of political correctness.
It looks like Guy Ritchie is planning a sequel although I don’t know if the box office this weekend will be that good. There couldn’t have been more than a half dozen people in the theater. Most people under the age of 35 have never heard of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and neither Cavill or Hammer are box office draws while the peak of Grant’s career was reached 15 to 20 years ago. But I liked the movie enough that I would see the next installment.
In the meantime, I’ll continue tuning in to Me TV on Sunday nights.
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