Directed by Guy Ritchie
I love this movie. It’s got style. It’s got action. It’s got witty dialogue. It’s got a great story and it has one of my all-time favorite soundtracks. I do not understand why I didn’t do better. I wish it had because I would’ve loved to of seen a few sequels. In a world filled with TV inspired movies, this one stood out.
It’s been decades since I watched the television series so I can’t speak with any kind of certainty on what it was like. What I can say is that this movie has a cool and hip 60s vibe. It feels like a spy movie from that time. From the direction to the cuts to the music it feels like a movie ripped from the era in which it’s set.
The film itself concerns a missing former Nazi scientist who was working for the US government and has since disappeared and it’s believed that he is developing a nuclear bomb for a lingering group of Nazis. They don’t do too much to play up the Nazi aspect which is a little disappointing but it’s enough for me that they’re fighting Nazis. Because of the world threatening nature of the situation the KGB and the CIA agree to team up.
Henry Cavill takes on the role of Napoleon Solo. This film should have served as an audition for him as James Bond. He does a great job as a ladies’ man secret agent. He gives Solo roguish charm. His portrayal is very much in the vein of what Roger Moore did with James Bond.
Armie Hammer stars as Illya Kuryakin-a KGB agent with questionable mental health. The characters of Solo and Kuryakin have a nice back and forth during the film. It’s a rivalry that starts out based on dislike but builds to the point where they grudgingly respect the abilities of the other.
Alicia Vikander as Gabby Teller is the weakest of the main cast. She’s just wooden here. She looks the part, but she can’t play the part. I haven’t seen too much with her in it so I can’t comment if it’s just the role or if it’s just her, but I have a feeling it’s her. She doesn’t feel as if she’s really trying or enjoying herself. Either that or “annoyed” was the character trait she mostly wished to convey
The songs used in the film are a perfect cross-section of great music from that time. It’s not all one style or type. It’s a sampling of so much good music. And it’s used so well. It highlights the scenes in which it’s used. And the original music in the film just pulls it all together. It’s definitely one of my all-time favorite soundtracks.
The film has style. It looks different and is edited different and is directed different than most other movies. It has so many Guy Ritchie trademarks. This was the first Guy Ritchie movie that I watched, and it got me to seek out more of his work. The banter and the camera angles and just the overall pacing is fantastic.
There are twists and turns along the way. There’s even a Nazi war criminal. What happens with him is some of the best dark comedy I’ve seen in a while. And it’s a very fitting end for the character and drew a good laugh from me once the surprise wore off
It’s really a shame that the movie didn’t do better than it did. It would’ve been wonderful to see Guy Ritchie explore this world at least one more time. I’m not sure if it was marketing or just not enough people were into seeing another old series put to the screen. It’s a great entry into the spy genre.
If you get a chance to see this movie you really should. It’s fun and exciting and just a great movie. You will not be disappointed.