The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Rated 3.0

A CIA operative (Henry Cavill) and a Soviet KGB agent (Armie Hammer) are forced to work together to smuggle an atomic scientist's daughter (Alicia Vikander) out of East Berlin at the height of the Cold War. Director Guy Ritchie and writer Lionel Wigram treat the 1960s TV series with more respect than they ever showed to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, and the result is a stylishly pleasant surprise, a tongue-in-cheek pastiche of '60s spy movies just as the series itself was a pastiche of the Sean Connery James Bond movies. As Illya Kuryakin, Hammer is more amusingly stolid and less the boyish heartthrob than the original David McCallum, while the usually colorless Cavill (remember his dull Clark Kent and Superman in the wretched Man of Steel?) plays Napoleon Solo with great panache and charm. J.L.