The Man from UNCLE

August 24, 2015

Well, it’s a pleasant change getting a movie that’s a throwback to my mother’s formative years instead of my own.

I find I have very little to say about this.  Shocking, I know!  I was entirely distracted by the women’s GIANT PLASTIC DANGLY earrings.  Seriously, this movie was absolutely obsessed with women’s jewelry.  The women characters were actually quite refreshing — competent if a little cartoony, but the men around them took them seriously as characters and not as accessories, and that’s always nice.  The two leading men were nice to watch.  It was a little odd watching something so firmly rooted in 60’s Cold War spy tropes as an aesthetic rather than a political/historical era.  (I’m thinking now that the recent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy did much the same thing, in a different direction:  dour 70’s glumness rather than bright 60’s Mod.  And maybe that’s why the movie didn’t thrill me:  It felt a bit like playing dress up, as if a child of now had found her grandmother’s go-go boots in the closet.  Anyway.)

Fun action, fun characters, interesting things done with sound, editing, cuts, and action.  Dragged a bit, despite all that.  I never watched the TV show, and I’m wondering if knowing more about the show would have changed my reaction, one way or another.

 

6 Responses to “The Man from UNCLE”

  1. Carbonman Says:

    I’m certain your reaction would be different if you were familiar with the original material. In the TV series, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryaken weren’t the typical big, tough men of spycraft stories in the 50s and 60s. They were average size and strength, so they had to use their wits and teamwork to defeat their adversaries.
    U.N.C.L.E. was an established organization at the start of the series, with the duo of Napoleon and Illya one of many teams of agents, though they appeared to outrank most of their coworkers.
    One of the defining features of the show (shortly after the Cuban missile crisis and at the start of US involvement in Viet Nam) was that US-Soviet relations almost never received a mention. I never heard the word ‘Communist’ said in the entire show. Illya frequently showed how educated, technically inclined and well informed he was, while Napoleon was portrayed as the American skirt chaser.
    I can’t bring myself to pay money to watch this movie; I’m too familiar with the material from when it was originally aired and from the DVD boxed set my wife bought me a couple of years ago. I even have the first 22 volumes of the paperback MFU books – original retail price $.50 each.

  2. WanabePBWriter Says:

    Several co-workers have said I should see the movie.

    And a randomly found link.

    http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/vintage-sci-fi

  3. Randy Upton Says:

    Watching the TV show could make you expect more from Ducky on NCIS.

  4. Jo Anne Says:

    The Man From Uncle was very exciting in the 60’s. The characters were smart. The show was sly.

    Mom

  5. Jazzlet Says:

    The best lines on NCIS –
    ‘What did Ducky look like as a young man?’
    ‘Illya Kuryaken’

    Illya was my first crush at the age of about four!


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