The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
I swear to gooey, chocolatey Jesus that the plan was to review Straight Outta Compton. The jokes practically write themselves. Ice Cube went from singing "Fuck Tha Police" to being the Captain in 21 and 22 Jump Street. (Of course, he's not alone. Am I the only one who can't wrap his warped, little mind around former "Cop Killer" Ice-T playing a cop on Law & Order?) Onetime badass Dr. Dre is hawking headphones. N.W.A., the grandfathers of gangsta rap, owe their careers to a Jew.
Plus, I'm Black and I'm proud. I mean, not in the skin color way, and definitely not in the shitdiculous Rachel Dolezal way. More in The Commitments' cultural relativism way. But when a girl who might actually fuck - or at least blow - you says she wants to see The Man from U.N.C.L.E., it's straight outta third-tier-1960s-TV-show-adaptation time.
Hollywood's already shat out film versions of every other 60s spy show - Mission: Impossible, Get Smart, I Spy, The Avengers, The Saint - so it's barrel-bottom scrapin' time. Don't forget your suicide pill, because there's a reason it took 'em this long to get to The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Like the TV show, the premise of the movie is dick-kickingly simple. At the height of the Cold War, rival American and Russian super spies (and obvious 007 wannabes) are forced to team up to combat even dastardlier douchebags. The American, Napoleon Solo (Henry "Beefcake!" Cavill), goes heavy on Bond's debonair womanizer side, while the Russkie, Illya Kuryakin (Armie "Real First Name 'Armand' - No Bullshit" Hammer), bites on Bond's barely suppressed rage and judo chops.
In the halcyon days before Middle Eastern terrorists became the go-to villains, bad guys were pretty much always Nazis, so Solo and Kuryakin need to stop a bunch of goose-stepping wiener-suckers from getting their dirty kraut mitts on a nuclear bomb. For some reason, to do this they need the help of a sexy East German mechanic (a string of words that has never before existed in the universe), Gaby Teller (Alicia "Va Va Va Voom" Vikander). As uninspired as Nazi baddies are, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. gets points for focusing on Italian rather than standard issue German Nazis and for making their leader a Mussolinette.
Director Guy "Dick" Ritchie either stopped snorting meth or is getting old because unlike his earlier work on Snatch and Sherlock Holmes he periodically manages to go more than three seconds without an edit. Don't worry, though, his signature moves are still on display. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is all jazz flute, jump cuts, swish pans and bespoke suits.
Too bad it's also as cliche as "cowboy" Americans, vodka-swilling Russians and humorless yet remarkably fuckable East Germans.
August 16, 2015