Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Man From U.N.C.L.E - A review

Straight out of the 1960’s to the big screen, Guy Richie’s film by the same name is a mix of espionage, humor, and action.  It is the mid-1960’s and the height of the cold war between the U.S.A. and Soviet Union, when an enterprising and stunning heiress to an Italian shipping company plots with an X-Nazi to build a nuclear device.

uncleFacing such a threat the two countries offer one agent each  (Napoleon Solo of the C.I.A. and Illya Kuryakin of the KGB) to work in tandem for their mutual benefit: prevent the device from being built, retrieve the German scientist working again his will, and recover all his data by any means necessary.
Our heros prefer to work alone, so a partnership doesn’t sit well with either of them. But they suck it up for national (and global) security. Throw in the beautiful Gaby (played by Alicia Vikander, a Swedish actress known for Ex-Machina and A Royal Affair) as the bomb maker's East German daughter, and the stage is set for this fun triangle to unfold where we never really know Gaby’s true agenda.
The characters are likable: Henry Cavill (Superman - Man of Steel) as the calm and cool Solo, and Armie Hammer (Entourage) as the on edge ready to explode at the drop of an offensive phrase, Kuryakyn. Thrown into the mix is the East German daughter of bomb-maker
Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby) is the evil femme fatale mastermind and carries the role off to perfection.
Hugh Grant makes an appearance representing British Intelligence, who will certainly be in any follow up installment.

The film was carried more by the well-timed humor and inter-play of the characters than high-intrigue suspense, or action. That is not to say that there aren't a few good action scenes. There were a few that were exciting and fun.

It was a good entertaining film, not a thrilling blockbuster; but a good foundation for a follow sequel. The key to whether you will like the film comes down to the characters. From my viewing tonight, the crowd enjoyed it and laughed out loud several times throughout.

RATING: 3 Stars

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Fantastic 4 reboot tripped and stumbled. It was stale, lacking humor and heart. The 2005 version had mood; Johnny Storm was a fun carefree, reckless charismatic character. The interplay between him and Thing was entertaining; the interplay with the public engaging.

In the reboot there is no interplay between any of the characters, or anyone else for that matter; they all seemed disconnected and uninterested in the film and/or each other.