By Wayne Allen
If you’re looking for a movie this weekend with action, suspense and an unexpected ending, I would recommend “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Unfortunately the film does little to advance star Henry Cavill’s career.
The film is based on a 1960s TV series that followed a trio of spies working together. In that same spirit, the film brings together several spies of different countries, whose purpose becomes evident towards the latter half of the movie.
One of the very last scenes of the movie shows the spies reflecting on their accomplishment on the balcony of a hotel room. After some dialog the team leader appears and informs the trio, because of their recent success they will continue to work together, and the team would be called U.N.C.L.E. This is the only reference that I can recall to U.N.C.L.E. in the entire movie. It’s not until the first scene of the credits where U.N.C.L.E. is explained as the “United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.”
Overall the film had a little bit of everything from action and suspense to spy gadgets and crime fighting.
I dislike it when actors are typecast to certain rolls based on the previous parts they’ve played. “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” featured actor Henry Cavill, who rose to fame playing Superman in the 2013 movie “Man of Steel” and next year’s “Batman v. Superman” Dawn of Justice.”
Halfway through “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” I was still waiting for Cavill to reveal himself as Superman and take care of the bad guys. There were parts of the movie where Cavill was being tortured for his actions, I can remember the thought running through my head at the time, “Superman would never allow himself to be subjected to this. Now is the time for him to reveal himself as Superman.” Obviously that did not happen.
While discussing the film Wednesday I learned of the Superman Curse, which refers to a series of supposedly related misfortunes that have plagued creative people involved in adaptations of Superman in various media, particularly actors who have played the role of Superman on film and television. One curse often befalling many past Supermen has been their inability to break out of that role and be anything else. Many of them fail to do anything else of note after retiring the cape.
Unfortunately, Cavill may have succumb to the Superman Curse in this film.
I also thought the meaning of U.N.C.L.E. could have been explained sooner in the film. There could have been a number of ways it could have been explained in the beginning. They could have taken a chapter from the X-Men franchise and called it an origin story.
If there was one thing the ending of the man from U.N.C.L.E. showed me, it was that this is not the end of their story and maybe a year or two from now we will see another movie with the trio doing what they do. If you enjoy the films of James Bond or Mission Impossible, you should have no trouble enjoying “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
The film is rated PG-13 for action violence, some suggestive content and partial nudity, the film runs one hour and fifty six minutes. For more information about the film and to watch trailers visit, www.manfromuncle.com.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT