Here’s a film that had one heck of a job trying to find success. So many of us remember the escapades of Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin from the iconic TV show that it would be like someone trying to pass off a rhino as Jesus Christ. That would be mission impossible, but that’s another movie.
Henry Cavill plays Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer as Ilya Kuryakin, Hugh Grant as Waverly, and Alicia Vikander as Gaby Teller, who ends up joining the guys and will fill in eventually as the Girl From Uncle. Guy Ritchie directed and co-wrote the script in what for him has become a cookie cutter form—going right into action and using multiple screen cuts in a way that he hopes will make viewers become so much involved that things can be slipped past them. It almost worked too, despite the fact that I told my companion who Ilya was almost five minutes before he was identified in the script.
Basically, in the mid 1960s, a plot arises with an evil organization becoming capable of arming and exploding a nuclear device, and a Soviet and an American agent are forced to work together to foil the plot. There is just about the right amount of tongue-in-cheek “really”s to make the film similar to the show. Napoleon and ilya keep trying to outdo each other and prove their side superior to the other, and that leads to some funny sight gags and cool equipment.
The bad guys have captured a scientist to arm the bomb, and the agents have to use his long-lost daughter to find him. there are fights, gunfights, boat chases, and of course, pretty women (this is based in the 60s, as I stated earlier, after all).Some liberties were taken with the characters here. Solo was convicted of stealing and various acts for which he’s forced to work as an agent. Ilya has a personality defect that causes him to exhibit anger and tremors.
The basic formula is more or less adhered to, which makes this film extremely enjoyable even as old die-hard UNCLE junkies will say “wait a minute” at several points and relive how they remember things to be.