In a movie landscape already filled with established spy franchises by the names of Bond, Bourne and only a couple of weeks ago Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible series juggernaut; is there really room, or the audience appetite, for yet another possible spy movie franchise to succeed? Thanks to director Guy Ritchie, the answer is a guardedly optimistic yes, as the filmmaker rolls the risky dice by rebooting the popular 1960’s TV spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Most Baby Boomers have a warm nostalgic spot in their heart for the TV series, which starred Robert Vaughn and David McCallum as an American and a Russian working together during the height of the very real, often tense 1960’s Cold War for an international law enforcement agency. The series was a phenomenal international hit with it’s mix of James Bond-like intrigue and danger mixed with a liberal dash of tongue in cheek, but not campy, humor.
Ritchie wisely chooses to keep much of the elements which made the original show a hit in his big screen adaptation, most notably keeping the film’s setting in the 1960’s; as well as working to keep the unique chemistry and banter between it’s two lead characters, CIA agent Napoleon Solo ( Henry Cavill ) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin ( Armie Hammer ) more or less intact.