GUEST FILM REVIEW: The Man From U.N.C.L.E

A very warm welcome to Wayward Wolf’s first ever guest writer.!

Introducing, Mr Parvez Siddiqui!

“This is my first review of any kind, and I would like to thank Hugh for asking me to contribute to his Wayward Wolf blog page”

OK, where to begin. I guess the place to start is the feeling of seeing a re-boot of an iconic show from the 60s. The sharp fashions and chemistry of Robert Vaughan and David McCallum as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin was something that I remember as a child, and the kind of spy japes they used to get into, and then quite smoothly get out of again.

Knowing that Guy Richie was involved in directing this movie looked like it could be an exciting prospect, as he made a magnificent spectacle of the Sherlock Holmes universe, and to move into 60s spy chic would be uber-cool.

On opening, and the introduction of Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer in the lead roles was explosive, with a meeting over Checkpoint Charlie. They completely got my attention, and I settled in for a rollercoaster ride.

However, it turned out more rollercoaster like than I hoped, as it ended nearly as soon as it began.

The story seemed to weave in and out of finding people for information, and then promptly losing them again, and chasing around stunning European locations, with villains hot on their heels.

Cavill as Napoleon Solo looked exactly like Superman in a suit 2 sizes too small, which ironically is exactly what he was, and Hammer looked like a flat capped yokel with a decent Russian accent  Alicia Vikander shines as the female lead, who played her role in a sultry, smart and funny manner as the glue between the two guys. A mention should be made for Hugh Grant, but his involvement, like this sentence, was fleeting. If this is how the CIA and KGB collaborated during the Cold War period, then it’s of no wonder that it went on for so long.

If you’d like to see Europe as how it would have been in the 60s, then this is the movie for you. For me, I was looking at my watch 30 minutes after the film began, sighing, and thinking about the remaining time I had to sit in my seat, in which I got more restless as time passed.

I wanted much more from Guy Richie in this movie, because fashion style and looking good is not enough for any movie anymore, and I think he already knows this.

Next time I get on a rollercoaster, I would like to get off with a big smile on my face, and wanting to queue up to ride it again.

Parvez

 

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FILM REVIEW: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation

No matter what any of us make of Tom Cruise the person and shadowy cult member, he is quite frankly top notch at entertaining the public via the medium of cinema.

I can’t remember the last thing I saw with him in it, but it’s got to have been a good ten years ago at least and seeing a noticeably older Cruise still doing what he does so well, it struck me that perhaps, much in the way I felt recently watching an older Al Pacino put in a great turn as Danny Collins, the likes of Cruise and his ilk should be treasured, because just maybe when they’re gone, we’ll not see their like again?

Yes, I just put Cruise in the same bracket as Pacino.

I know what I mean anyway…

In Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (MIRN), his fellow IMF comrades consist of Simon Pegg who adds some welcome ‘Simon Pegg-ness’ to proceedings, unsurprisingly playing a geeky, technology-savvy sidekick, Benji. The more remote team members William and Luther, are played by Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames, respectively.

There’s the inevitable, sinister selection of wrong-doers that form ‘the syndicate’, in particular the creepy ring leader Solomon Lane (complete with almost demonic, choked vocal refrains – played by Sean Harris), hell bent on eradicating the IMF. There are of course nigh-on ludicrous tasks to be undertaken and thankfully, the film benefits enormously from a splendid femme fatale in the shape of sultry seductress, Rebecca Ferguson.

What’s not to like?

MIRN is a highly enjoyable romp which borders on nonsense, frequently, but never in a bad or tiresome way.

You won’t need to have seen any of the others within this franchise; I hadn’t, so I couldn’t tell you how this one rates in comparison.

MIRN stands up on its own merits.

To what extent you’ve bought into the whole Mission Impossible ethos will certainly dictate how forgiving you will be of the film’s quite frankly ludicrous latter stages. Comic book stuff with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

There’s really not much more to add to be honest; I’ll just say that an evergreen Tom Cruise, actually strapped to the side of a flying plane = Tom Cruise in his element and subsequently Tom Cruise’ legion of fans and action film buffs, together, in theirs.

If it’s harmless, big screen entertainment you hanker after, look no further.

Big budget fun.