The Unpopular Opinion


THE UNPOPULAR OPINION: THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

13 hours ago

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. is one of the most underappreciated films of the last decade and one of the best films that nobody saw last summer. Released at the start of August, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. should have been a massive success and paved the way for a new franchise. Appealing to fans of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and the Jason Bourne franchise, this movie ranks as one of the absolute best TV series adaptations and could be Guy Ritchie's best studio work. I do not hold high hopes for KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, but everything that fits into Ritchie's bag of director tricks works in spades in this film. The ramped up slow motion is still his trademark, but his use of color, music, and kitschy subtitles through this spy adventure had me glued to my screen for the entire running time. But, what works so well in this movie may be the exact reason that it failed to click with audiences. And that is what makes it the perfect discovery for those who passed it up last year.
Inspired by the classic series starring Robert Vaughn, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. is set during an era that doesn't exactly scream out to modern audiences. While the AUSTIN POWERS franchise was able to joke and spoof the 1960s, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. embraces the period with retro panache. The gadgets are old fashioned, the romance is old fashioned, and even the action is old fashioned. But, this is where Guy Ritchie's modern sensibility works beautifully as his manic visual approach gives the film a breezy, light feel that prevents it from feeling like a bogged down retread. Everything Ritchie does keeps the film fun and recalls the Roger Moore and Sean Connery eras of the James Bond series. In essence,Guy Ritchie has made the best Bond movie that was never released 40 years ago. Much like how J.J. Abrams' reboot of STAR TREK managed to inject a stagnant franchise with some vigor, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. serves as the best proof that an old school James Bond movie would work perfectly today.


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