Vox review: "The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a welcome vacation from this summer’s blockbusters"


The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a welcome vacation from this summer’s blockbusters

This summer was full of men, many of them superheroes, all of them trying to save the world. There's a little of that spirit in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a tale of spy versus spy versus international criminal organization bent on procuring nuclear warheads. The movie was marketed that way, leaning into its James Bond/Captain America-esqe elements and focusing on its pomaded, square-jawed hero Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill).

In a Marvel or Bond movie, Solo would surely be the all-American brawler ready to pound faces and save the day. But director Guy Ritchie is less inclined to push the hero, and the film, down that path. Instead, what he's created in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a stylish, much-needed departure from the stone-faced seriousness of this summer's blockbusters — a charming, stylish stunner of a film that no one saw coming.

What makes The Man From U.N.C.L.E so good is how much fun it has. It isn't concerned with being a great, sweeping film, nor is it tethered to some hulking franchise. Sure, there's a rather dour nuclear bomb threat at the end of this tunnel, but Ritchie and co-writer Lionel Wigram are more concerned with floating the audience along on the bubbly journey it takes to get there. Even the action sequences are more concerned with style and humor than with violence.

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