Guy Ritchie

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. review

An American spy, a Russian spy, lots of action, a bit of comedy, a few twists and tons of charisma and style added by Guy Ritchie’s directing.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E is a very good movie, it starts off with a common premise, categorizing it in the spy genre, which has been very popular in the past few months, with films like Kingsman and Mission Impossible, however it manages to be authentic and unique by distinguishing itself with its peculiar tone, character dynamics, great music score and 60s backdrop.

Henry Cavill steals the show in his role as Napoleon Solo, he gives a remarkable performance showing impeccable drawing power and pulling off the charming agent persona as well as anyone. Armie Hammer is also good as the Russian spy but it’s Alicia Vikander who has another great appearance and seems to be on the up with a couple of very good performances on the bounce.

The plot is definitely the weak part of the film.  It doesn’t have anything particular to offer in terms of dramatic development or mind-blowing twists, which keep you awake for days.  It is rather simplistic and remains more light-hearted instead of exploring darker themes. Even though we’ve come to expect more from Guy Ritchie’s scripts, he chooses to leave more room to work his magic in the director’s chair in this one.  He imposes his style as always, and it’s a joy to watch, as he captures the essence of the 1960s and allows his “agents” to show their on-screen magnetism.

A decent, kind of throwback to the 1960s spy movies with the Guy Ritchie stamp and a wee bit weak story.

7.5/10

Contemporary Sherlock Holmes part 2

If you haven’t read part 1, go ahead and do that, before you got through this one.

This time, we look at the theme of each of the three interpretations and how each of them was executed.

Firstly in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, the English director leaves his mark on both movies, making it look modern as far as tone and texture are concerned, despite of it set a long time ago.  The idea of Sherlock predicting the fight scenes and telling to us what will happen and then acting upon that, is one of the most unique features of the film, and it’s the one of the most entertaining for the viewer, differentiating it from what we are used to.  The fact that they changed it up in the second movie, enhances its effect, especially in the final fight sequence in “A Game of Shadows”.  Moreover the score is composed by the stupendous Hans Zimmer, who again encapsulates the essence of the story with his music.

In BBC’s Sherlock, the story is set in present London, instead of the late 18th century that it originally takes place in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books.   However that doesn’t stop the creators, to base a lot of the episodes on books by altering them in order to suit the modern backdrop.  On the other hand some episodes are completely made up and still carry the same weight and quality.  Moreover one of the best aspects of the show is looking through the eyes and mind of Sherlock as he deducts through crime scenes or even when showing off.  We follow him closely whilst he reads people, situations and even in his mind palace, getting as close as we’ve ever been to the brilliant consulting detective.

Finally in Elementary, they take a more common route to put Holmes in the mix, it’s set in New York where Sherlock is a recovering drug addict and currently consulting for the NYPD.  Watson is a female character and the show assume that the audience will take a leap of faith and accept that she has the talent to become a detective overnight with Sherlock’s guidance.  The procedural cop theme and the 24 episodes a season, of which most are filler episodes with simple murder cases, don’t help.  Nevertheless some great story arcs, a very emotional and unstable Sherlock Holmes make it worthwhile.  Changing up what we’ve come to know about the characters that surround Sherlock is brave and a very common occurrence in the show, with a plethora of examples like: Watson, Lestrade, Mycroft and especially Irene Adler and Moriarty; something that manages to distinguish the show from its counterparts.

All and all, these are three great interpretations of the famous Sherlock Holmes and all more than rewarding for the fans, but Elementary has to settle for third place, as the other two fight for the throne.