UNCLE is not your typical Guy Ritchie piece. More Snatch than Sherlock, this tribute film could play like a two hour inside joke if you’ve never seen the hit 60’s show.Ritchie, known for his laid back, well-planned, tea-taking, collaborative directing form on set, offers that sensibility to audiences. The stress is gone, but the pace plays.No kiss and tell. No swearing. The sex and extreme violence is simply alluded to as something naughty going on in the next room. It’s the classic fluttering curtain. The audience takes tea and never has to worry, thanks to the family friendly rating. I’m grateful. Though a scene of almost nudity, a few holocaust photos, and constant action may not dissuade a family film night, the sheer duration might. It’s two, long but fun, very full one-note hours. So, action lovers will most likely approve.The soundtrack is a character, jumping into scenes like a welcome hero framing the chase, follow, rumble, and escape into a split-screen, real-time visual medley. Lovely.
Like the music, the characters are as adorably written as they are played. Henry Cavill somehow successfully sets aside the super suit and cape long enough to model Armani. Armie Hammer also drops his former bumbling physical comedy for some slick action moves. No longer the Lone Ranger, he’s a formidable opponent turned partner. Alicia Vikander, is the appropriate third wheel on this trained tricycle. Baby-faced but believable, her chemistry with the team works.
Even the delightful Hugh Grant drops in for more than a cameo rounding out the settings with his own confident kind of welcoming familial grace, a needed and timely element.