I was excited to see what Henry Cavill could do as someone other than Superman from Man of Steel. I was a huge fan of MoS and, in general, a big can of Superman as a character. Naturally– I tend to root for those who have played the iconic hero! And, while the previews I had thus far seen failed to thoroughly pique my interest, the local buzz along with my own desire to see Cavill lead me to the theater.
And I was not dissapointed! The movie is a fun mix of both comedy and the classic spy/espionage genre. Better still, it makes fun of the genre while not spy genre without demeaning it. The movie pokes fun at the ridiculousness of the classic films while still making them, and this film, awesome. The characters are over the top extreme in terms of talent, style, bravado, womanizing and hilarity. The whitey banter that goes on between Cavill and Armie Hammer during the film makes it an extremely fun film as the two slowly become “frenemies”.
When a mysterious organization discovers a way to easy synthesize uranium, Napoleon Solo(Cavill), an American Spy, and Illya Kuryakin(Hammer), a Russian spy, reluctantly have to work together to save the world from possible destruction.
Solo was a form military officer-turned-illegal antiquities dealer who was eventually caught and blackmailed into indentured servitude for the American government. He is tasked with tracking down a woman named Gabby Teller currently residing in east-Berlin. She is daughter to a scientist that has gone missing that holds the key to creating the uranium needed for an atom bomb. Solo attempts to bring her to west-Berlin (in 1963 the Berlin wall was still in place), but is repeatedly stopped or inconveniences by the Russian super-spy Kuryakin. Kuryakin shows incredible strength, speed, stamina and tenacity in his pursuit but ultimately fails in capturing Teller.
We found out later, however, that the Russian and American governments have decided to have a pseudo-relationship in search for the missing scientist because they believe working together is the only way to keep both of their countries safe (the enemy you know…). Solo and Kuryakin now have to work together to infiltrate the mysterious organization and (hopefully) save the world. All while keeping their covers and protecting Ms. Teller people pursuing them.
There is a lot of friction in the team, however, as both spies have completely different styles. Solo prefers a more soft touch–playing the part and conning people while Kuryakin prefers the Russian “I will destroy you”-approach in which he smashes everything he can in a fiery rage. And, while both styles usually work alone, they will have to combine their strengths if the want to succeed.
This film was hilarious and awesome all at the same time. It makes fun of the spy genre without entirely stepping on it– it hearkens back to the spy movies of old in feel,
execution and soundtrack. Both Cavill and Hammer portray their respective brands of spy-dom perfectly as well and seeing their back and forth banter makes the movie great. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and the audience shouldn’t expect it to. The movie constantly borders on the ridiculous, even crossing it a few times, while still staying grounded.
Cavill really does seem in his element in this film. He captures the old school super-suave type perfectly but still stays very likable. He sort of reminds me of a 60’s Neal Caffrey (from the show White Collar) hell, he could be his older brother. He is so cool that, at one point in the film, he is drugged and, when he realizes this, he promptly starts laying out pillows and lies down because he hurt himself last time he was drugged. He does this WHILE TALKING TO THE VILLAIN WHO DRUGGED HIM. And, even better, the villain calmly lets him do it… why? Because he is Napoleon-freaking-Solo!
Armie Hammer is no slouch in this film either, he is incredibly likable as the angry Russian powerhouse. His character is freakishly strong and tends to be stricken with bouts of handshaking rage. He is not afraid to back down from a fight–what self-respecting Russian would be? He is tough as nails but slowly captures the audience’s heart during his possible love with Ms. Teller. It is like having a mini Beauty and the Beast movie play out within the film! But they do not soften him up too much, he is a badass a who kicks ass, and we want to see him do it!
I would probably watch a movie that revolves around either of these to characters solo. They’re interesting and would more-than-likely have very interesting backstories. Additionally, I would watch a follow-up to this film as well just to see Kuryakin and Solo team up one again! Really, the only misstep by this film is that the plot can come off overly convoluted and dense for the type of film that it is. And the double agent/double cross-stuff felt a little tired towards the end. We get it, governments didn’t get along!!
Plot (out of 20)
Two opposite type spies who hate each other being forced to work together? Love this plot and while the two main characters are definitely archetype-types, their execution still allows you to watch the movie and believe in the two characters. They also keep the film lighthearted enough and make fun of itself just enough to be endearing. You will literally find yourself begging for the two main characters to be best friends forever by the end of this film.(20/20)
Characters (out of 20)
The characters were archetypes. The classic aggressively strong Russian vs the suave and sophisticated America. Nothing new there, but they were so well executed and very
likable. It is fun seeing the two try to outdo one another throughout the film. Neither one is better than the other–they have their strengths and seeing them work together is equally as fun to watch. (20/20)
Acting (out of 20)
The acting from everyone was great in this film and the two main actors, Cavill and Hammer, steal the show every chance they get. (20/20)
While I do think the general plot is intriguing, the way the story is told throughout the film tends to make things a bit convoluted.. they could have achieved just as much hilarity and awesome without adding in so many different elements to the film (like double crossing double crossers and general craziness) and, ultimately, it would have been a better film for it. Less is often more! (20/30)
Ad-Campaign (out of 10)
The trailers failed to pique my interest in the slightest and they really didn’t advertise this film a whole lot given the cast. I heard more buzz via word-of-mouth so… (5/10)