What do Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer have in common as the Man of Steel — aka Superman — and the ‘Masked Man’ known as Disney’s The Lone Ranger? They fight for law and order: representing all that’s good and honorable as incorrupt symbols of hope, truth, justice and the American Way.
However, in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., none of those qualities exists within Cavill and Hammer as CIA agent Napoleon Solo and his KGB counterpart Illya Kuryakin. There’s one thing these two spies have in common, though: they don’t like each other. Solo is like Cary Grant: dashing, suave, elegant, refined. The brooding and reserved Kuryakin, on the other hand, is more rough around the edges — with serious anger management issues. In other words, Kuryakin, the Russian, is more of a ‘cowboy’ than Solo, the American. Still, these two must work together in stopping a global conspiracy during the early 1960s.
They are spies, but neither are doing this for God and country. See, Solo worked on the wrong side of the law until the CIA caught him and realized it does indeed takes a criminal to catch other criminals. Sadly, the sins of the father visits upon the son, as Kuryakin atones for his father’s ‘shame’ with the KGB. The beginning of a perfect partnership, indeed.
You know what’s really ironic about “U.N.C.L.E” (aka the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement)? The show with Robert Vaughn and David McCallum premiered on NBC in 1964, two years before Mission: Impossible (1966-73, CBS), which went on to become a “Rogue Nation” as a successful film franchise thanks to Tom Cruise for almost twenty years. “U.N.C.L.E” also premiered before Wild Wild West (1965-69, CBS), which had a #1 song with Wild Will Smith, while the 1999 film wasn’t exactly “Wild” with critics, moviegoers, and especially Robert Conard, who played secret agent James T. West in the series.
So, where does “U.N.C.L.E.” fall in that category? Like the original, it is cool and tongue-in-cheek — with plenty of eye candy for women who love James Bond. But was it worth the wait? Well, to make it short: say “U.N.C.L.E.” — and yes to a sequel.
Look for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in theaters everywhere.