REVIEW: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. trailer

Logo for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie

Logo for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. teaser trailer debuted Wednesday night. There were at least a couple of surprises. And one possible James Bond homage.

To be specific:

–0:04 mark: Henry Cavill’s Napoleon Solo, in the back seat of a vintage car, asks, “Are they still following us?” He employs dramatic pauses similar to the original Solo, Robert Vaughn. Why is that surprising? Cavill has said he never watched an episode of the original 1964-68 series. Meanwhile, Brit Cavill sounds convincingly American (not surprising given how he played Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel).

–Armie Hammer, as Illya Kuryakin, has a strong Russian accent. It’s much stronger than David McCallum, the actor who originated the part, ever displayed.

–The homage? Around the 1:00 mark, CIA agent Solo and KGB operative Kuryakin fight in a rest room, demolishing it. That’s extremely similar to the pre-credits sequence of the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, the rebooted 007 movie where the British agent records his first kill.

According to the trailer, the year is 1963. An unknown criminal organization “with ties to former Nazis” is said to have built an atomic bomb. This forces the United States and Soviet Union to cooperate — even to the point of assigning Solo and Kuryakin, shown here as being foes, to work together.

Obviously, this just a taste of the movie. It doesn’t have familiar U.N.C.L.E. memes such as the secret headquarters, because U.N.C.L.E. hasn’t been formed yet. At the very end of the trailer, we catch a glimpse of Hugh Grant as Waverly. It’s hard to evaluate anything about how the actor will do playing a role originated by Leo G. Carroll.

The trailer, in effect, was the first “official” U.N.C.L.E. production since the 1983 TV movie The Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. It’s interesting. You can’t evaluate an entire movie based on a trailer, of course. For those who welcome a new take on U.N.C.L.E., there’s nothing to be discouraged about. For those who wanted the series left alone, they likely won’t be reassured.

GRADE: Incomplete. But we’d like to see more. You can view the trailer below:

UPDATE: Missed this the first three times, but at 1:08 mark, Kuryakin appears to be using a preliminary version of what would become the U.N.C.L.E. Special on the television series.

1:19 mark: another Vaughn like delivery by Cavill: “This could get a little messy.”

1:57 mark: possible homage to the original series and the third-season opener, The Her Master’s Voice Affair.

UPDATE II: Warner Bros. has yanked the video we embedded.

UPDATE III: This embedded video still works.

UPDATE IV: Could this be the movie’s version of the U.N.C.L.E. Special?

Armie Hammer with a weapon that looks like an U.N.C.L.E. special

Armie Hammer with a weapon that looks like an U.N.C.L.E. special

UPDATE V: The official WEBSITE FOR THE MOVIE is now up.

UPDATE VI: Daniel Pemberton, who composed music for the film, says via Twitter the trailer doesn’t contain his score.

6 Responses

  1. I’d say the DB5 is a deliberate Bond reference as well. And how about that fully assembled (if updated) U.N.C.L.E. Special Illya’s got??? I guess that’s technology the Russians brought to the table! I think the trailer looks amazing. I love Cavill’s clearly studied Vaughn-like delivery.

  2. I have to say, this looks really, really good.

  3. firstly I agree with every word the article above say’s
    about the trailer. however here’s my opinion, henry cavil seem’s
    to be spot-on with the napoleon solo character. and armie hammer
    I had believed that he would have a harder time nailing his character
    illya kuryakin. like what the article said, he has a very strong Russian accent, meaning somebody’s been doing their home-work.

    the formula guy Richie has used as two foe’s working together but
    hate each other is good, what did we expect it’s the cold-war
    they surpose to be enemies.

    I also like the plot concerning an unknown criminal organization with
    ties to former Nazi’s, said to have built an atomic bomb.
    I like that in a old-time spyfilm.

    even if this is just a first trailer I like what I’ve seen so far.

  4. […] (Feb. 5, 2015): The Never Made U.N.C.L.E.s page has been expanded to add descriptions of the never-made Matthew Vaughn movie, circa 2005, and the never-made Ember Entertainment cable-TV project. (Feb. 6): The U.N.C.L.E./James Bond page expanded to include entries for Solo (U.N.C.L.E. original pilot title and name of a 2013 007 novel) and Robert Short. (Feb. 11): The trailer for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie debuted online. CLICK HERE to read a review by THE SPY COMMAND. […]

  5. […] week, we take one step back away from four movies and see three movies battle it out again with ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ taking on ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and ‘Underdogs’ (another animated movie […]

  6. Terrible, awful movie. No wonder it flopped.

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