If you’re like me, you are probably wondering which movie to see this weekend: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. or Straight Outta Compton. Or you could see both, but then there’s the dilemma of choosing your theater, because if you are like me, then you need the biggest and best screen possible. Apparently these two films had to share the selection of large-formatted screens across Dallas. Being a loyal customer to Cinemark, I noticed some XDs got The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which will here on out be referred to as simply “Man” for brevity purposes, and some got Straight Outta Compton, while IMAX was still showing Mission Impossible, and for good reason. It was a hard decision to make, so I decided on a double feature, just not at the same theater. Seeing both these films in super large format was worth it making picking one to write a review on even a tougher choice as both films will blow you away.
To seem as unbiased as possible, I will go with the first one I saw, which was “Man”, and that’s only because the movie opened across theaters at 7 pm, while Straight Outta Compton opened at 8.
“Man” tells the classic story of the spy vs. spy scenario, but with the twist of pairing those spies to work together, it adds a fresh scent to a tale told many a time. Set in 1963, the movie shows off an amazingly detailed and vivid set design, costume utilization, and overall story augmentation to bring you a real blast from the past adventure. It’s right in between the second World War and the Cold War. Relations with Russia were shaky at best and England has long been established as our best friend. I won’t divulge any further as I’d hate to ruin or spoil any of this movie, as the less you know about it, the less expectations you will have going in. Trailers claim it rivals or even out does the Bond franchise. Here I disagree, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great film. It manages to stand out on its own because it does not rely on cliche nor does it implement the same old movie tricks most common in action shoot em ups.
Henry Cavill (this generation’s Superman) plays the American agent while Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) plays the Russian agent, and their chemistry on screen couldn’t be more electric. The writing makes these two characters and their interactions with each other humorous and delectable. Cavill and Hammer are very enjoyable to watch. They bring huge entertainment value to both this movie and their own resume.
Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) is a, well, I don’t exactly remember what her character is, except for brilliant. She only adds to the on screen chemistry between Cavill and Hammer and makes for a trifecta of a cast.
Directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes), “Man” delivers all the things I love about this director, even including some of the writing. It’s not overly complicated, the story isn’t entirely complex and diluted by overkill and twists and turns. It’s laid out in a very organized fashion while still surprising you every chance it gets.
It’s unique in and of itself, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has done great things in cinematography in regards to action films. The spy vs spy concept is played out perfectly and because this was based on a television series, it’s going to be hard to be satisfied with just one. Here’s to hoping for a sequel, because it flat out deserves one.
Go see The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in theaters now. It makes for a great appetizer for Spectre to be released in November. Check out a trailer of the film below: