Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2015. Warner Bros., RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Wigram Productions, Davis Entertainment. Story by Jeff Kleeman, David C. Wilson, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, Screenplay by Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, based on the television series by Sam Rolfe. Cinematography by John Mathieson. Produced by Steve Clark-Hall, John Davis, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram. Music by Daniel Pemberton. Production Design by Oliver Scholl. Costume Design by Joanna Johnston. Film Editing by James Herbert.
Another boomer television classic finds new life on the big screen, this time through the stylish antics of ace action helmer Guy Ritchie. He once again puts forth a homosocial romance with women as casual incidentals when a KGB agent with a bad temper (Armie Hammer) and a CIA operative with a shady past (Henry Cavill) are both assigned to capture an East German mechanic (Alicia Vikander) and remove her from socialist Berlin. She has ties to a missing scientist who, in that old favourite of action movie tropes going back to the thirties, might have been kidnapped by bad people who are forcing him to use his scientific discoveries for their bad ends. After one of the two spies manages to successfully get the girl in their safe possession, Cavill and Hammer are dismayed by terrible news: their agencies are cooperating to get the bad guys out of the way, which means that they now have to work together and get a dangerous nuclear missile out of nefarious hands. They develop a mutual sympathy, but as the recovery of the missing victim’s technology could make its possessing country a world superpower, there’s a tension between their friendship and their career goals. Plenty of shady fun is to be had, then, as they travel to Italy and investigate dubious millionaires, getting themselves into plenty of trouble with booze and guns, having offscreen sex with the girls to make sure we don’t get the wrong idea of the long, loving glances they’re constantly throwing at each other (“I’ll be top and you take the bottom!”), and providing the viewer with lots of fun plot twists at every step. Beautifully photographed, richly cast and smartly written, benefiting greatly from an appearance by a dapper and witty Hugh Grant, this is a solid action flick and a wonderful time to be had.