Saturday, 15 December 2018

Henry didn’t cavil at taking on spy classic

TO say my expectations of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’s big screen outing are high would be an understatement.

TO say my expectations of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’s big screen outing are high would be an understatement.

Despite being born in the Eighties, almost two decades after the spy series was first aired, this is a show I absolutely adored growing up.

I remember spending Friday evenings glued to the TV watching repeats on BBC2, always keen to see what adventures Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin would embark on.

As highly anticipated as this film is for me — and no doubt its legions of fans who actually grew up watching it in the Sixties — this may also prove to be its downfall.

With such high hopes always comes the risk of disappointment — but I sincerely hope not.

Although this remake comes as we live very much in a digital age, the film is set against the backdrop of the early Sixties at the height of the Cold War.

Man of Steel star Henry Cavill is Solo opposite Armie Hammer as Kuryakin in director Guy Ritchie’s action adventure.

The film centres on the CIA and KGB agents who are forced to put aside longstanding hostilities and team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organisation bent on destabilising the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology.

The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organisation, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. also stars Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki and Jared Harris, with Hugh Grant as spymaster Alexander Waverly.

The story is based on the television series so all the signs are good.

While many will remember Ritchie mainly for his defining gangster films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, he also has plenty of experience with action adventures with the excellent Sherlock Holmes in 2009 and 2011’s sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is now showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse.

Review: David White

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