It’s the 1960s and the Cold War is festering. A key scientist is kidnapped and with him is stolen the secret to mass producing atomic bombs. In a desperate bid to stop world destruction, the USA and USSR send in their best agents, forced to work together. Expert thief turned CIA agent, Napoleon Solo must team up with Illya Kuryakin; a giant of a man, always a moment away from snapping. They must put aside their differences, or it won’t just be the superpowers that suffer…

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) – Director: Guy Ritchie

Man from u.n.c.l.e movie poster is this film suitable

Rating: 12

Running Length: 116 mins

Starring: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander

Genre: Thriller, Action

REVIEW

Set again a backdrop of the chill of the 1960s Cold War, this adaptation of ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E’ (based on the MGM TV series of the same name) is a stylish spy romp for those who like their Bond, but with a little less of the tortured soul (or sleaziness, depending on which Bond you are watching!). Guy Ritchie brings his usual directorial flair to proceedings, but thankfully has learned that super-cool spy sequences need to be grounded with calm, but confident, structure.

All three leads shine in their roles. Cavill is assured, skilled, a little wry, and thoroughly convincing as Solo’s criminal turned spy. Hammer is superb as Kuryakin and plays him with barely concealed rage bubbling over a fiercely proud and intelligent core. Vikander, as Gaby Teller, is an excellent counterpoint. She brings her own agenda and force of will into the trio, who are all being yanked by strings way above their heads.

If you are looking for original plot or character depth and development then ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E’ may leave you wanting. But what it lacks in originality it more than makes up in an abundance of charm, snappy and stylish cinematography, an achingly cool soundtrack and engagingly smooth performances. ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E’ is the light hearted side to the Bond’s weighty baggage; the Cold War never looked so hot.

IS ‘THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

There was very little unsuitable content in the movie. Most moments were dialogue based and whilst we do not want to spoil jokes or surprises, below are some examples.

When Solo first meets Teller he tries to convince her that she needs to come with him for her own safety. He states that if she does not go with him then she could later be ‘hanging from a pipe, having your toenails removed’

One character remarks to another that someone has their ‘balls on a the end of a very long leash held by a very short man’.

Kuryakin knows he is being followed but Solo and Teller try to convince him that he must allow himself to be physically beaten by his pursuers so as not to break his cover. Solo remarks with a smile that Kuryakin should ‘take it like a pussy’.

When an attractive women brings Solo some drinks to his hotel room she asks him if she can do anything else for him, to which he replies that it would be a shame to drink alone. She looks surprised, before realising his intentions are sexual. She says that she will have to wait until her shift ends in 5 minutes, to which Solo says ‘I’m sure we can find something to do for 5 minutes’. Later, she is seen to be walking away from Solos’ bed wearing nothing but thin underwear. Her bare back is seen and it is clear that they have been intimate.

During a fight where Teller is attacking a male she is warned by him to back off, with him stating, ‘Don’t make me put you over my knee’.

Solo gatecrashes a party and intentionally causes a scene to draw attention to himself. He does this by speaking in Italian to insult a member of the waiting staff by saying ‘I am neither your sister nor a goat, so take your hands off me’.

When a female character is wearing a bug on her upper thigh, under her clothes, a male character has to check it is working. She remarks, ‘What are you doing down there?’ to which he replies, ‘Trying not to get lost’.

A door closes on a male and female character and we go to the room below. Kuryakin has the room with the male and female bugged and tries to tune in to hear what is happening. It becomes clear from the noises coming out of the receiver that the two characters above are having sex. There is also some loud thumping and the roof shakes. This scene lasts about a minute and the noises heard aren’t overly gratuitous, but it is clear what is happening.

One character is captured and strapped into a chair. The chair is part of a large circuit to allow for electrocution torture. There is a lot of dialogue building up the reputation of the torturer. Once the torturer appears he fills in some background to his character and how he came to become a torturer. He illustrates this with a scrap book documenting his victims. This shown on camera and each page is turned after a second or so. Little detail is visible but there are close up shots of an eye and of a large wound on someone’s back. This scene could be too strong for younger children. Later, an electrocution process causes the victim to shake violently. This is for short bursts in the foreground, and later, for a prolonged period in the background (although the latter is more of a comic scene).

There is a gun fight where forces storm a base. This is shot in a very stylised way but features many guards getting shot, often in sniper scope point of view. However, there is never any blood and no death is lingered upon.

During one fight a character is fatally stabbed. The camera cuts to face level and we see the reaction of the person being stabbed. This lasts for around 10 – 20 seconds before the character collapsed. There is no wound detail and no blood, nor do we see the knife enter the victim’s body.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ plays to its strengths. Full of snappy dialogue and nod-wink camera smarts, it is the kind of wry, fun movie that makes for hugely entertaining watch. Whilst the majority of the movie is suitable for most ages, the torture scene and the occasional sexual content, combined with a plot that relies on wry dialogue, mean that we would suggest a suitable age of 8 and above for this film.

  • Violence: 2/5 (very little blood in the movie and most violence is brief and not lingered upon)
  • Emotional Distress: 1/5
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (the torture scene is built up through dialogue and actions)
  • Sexual Content: 2/5 (some dialogue innuendo and two scenes of a sexual nature, although little nudity)
  • Bad Language: 0/5
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (some dialogue about violence as already detailed. During the torture scene the torturer states ‘I’ll start with the pliers’. Multiple instances of mild innuendo)  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of espionage, dual motives, distrust, cold war tensions, anger management, promiscuity, overcoming differences and the threat of nuclear weapons

Words by Michael Record

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. [DVD]


New From: £3.74 GBP In Stock

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