Sigh.....should have been so much better......
Quite a lot to like mind - I loved the cool as sixties vibe running through it, right from the jazzy opening titles, to the impeccable fashions, cars and excellent soundtrack. I even didn't mind Cavill and Hammer. And I sure as hell didn't mind Vikander and Debicki (who quite frankly did it for me in this, yes siree Bob, sexy villainesses? Torture me NOW!).
But it got the characters fundamentally wrong, which meant the tone veered all over the place. I don't really remember the TV show that much, but I seem to remember Vaughn and McCallum bantering away and that was what was missing - origin story? ok, we need to start from a place of mistrust, I get that. But to have the whole film with them not trusting each other meant that knock about, light, jovial banterish tone I was not only expecting but hoping for was completely missing - take this as prime example:There were so many more of those odd tone shifts as well - the 'playful' discussion about what to do with a key character while in the background he burns alive??????? Hammer's anger management issues as something to giggle over? Er. not here they're not.The scene where Cavill is washed out of the escape boat and ends up eating and drinking in the van cab while Hammer is being chased in the boat. He's sat there because he doesn't care about Hammer one jot and only gets sparked into action because he starts to feel a pang of guilt. Well sorry, but that scene would have played so much better if we knew that Cavill was sat there because he knew that Hammer could cope with the situation.......that scene now plays really cold and mean when it should have been amusing and wry.
Its such a shame as I really did want to like this. I like Ritchie's films (most of them) but they all have a similar thread - those artistic flicks and tricks (I even liked the split screen assault on the island!) he uses everywhere, the cool as soundtracks are backed up by witty and jovial characters: even in the rummest of situations, his lock stock crew, his Snatch crew, even his Holmes and Watson are at their heart chums and witty: here, Cavill and Hammer were NOT these but were put in situations that required them to be and that's where the film suffered for me. It looked and sounded pretty but that's it. Shame.
Transfer is as expected really: strong picture quality, with a suitable retro vibe (strong lovely colours, nice detail but not too pin sharp, to suit the mood and time I suppose), the Atmos soundtrack was a little underwhelming, not just in its lack of overhead effects, just in general - more than once I had to check my L/C/R speaker connections as the soundtrack often mixed the drums hard left, leaving what felt like a massive gap in my front soundstage!!! I honestly had to rerun my AVR set up straight after it finished to convince myself all was well!!! Extras were all EPK fluff and not worth anyone's time, not even those who are allegedly employed to make these pieces of plop. Who really bothers with these? Anybody know anyone who even watches these when they're hosted by Dimmock Zane on Sky 1? No, me neither.
Summary - disappointment abounds, but at least its wrapped in a cool 60s clad exterior. Ok disc, but should and could have been so much more if Ritchie had brought his trademark witty characters to play instead. Boo.
The Man from UNCLE User Review
Shame this is the naff U.N.C.L.E, the one who at Christmas buys you the worst present and falls asleep drunk....Review of The Man from UNCLE blu-ray by Coz22998, May 15, 2016.This item was purchased for £14.99 from HMV in 2015. The reviewer still owns this product.