After the dreadful tag team of Revolver and RocknRolla I demanded that Guy Ritchie's career be ended. Yeah, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch were pretty good, but these two were whack and his former producer, Matthew Vaughn, had become a much more interesting filmmaker directing Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class (and the lesser Kingsmen: The Secret Service).
Unfortunately for my wishes, Ritchie had a pair of hits with the Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies and thus got to make this stylish and dull rehash of the Sixties TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Superman Henry Cavill as former thief-turned-spy Napoleon Solo and The Lone Ranger/Winklevoss Twin Armie Hammer as KGB agent Illya Kuryakin who first encounter each other when Solo is helping an East German auto mechanic (Hollywood's hot It Girl Alicia Vikander, star of Ex Machina and The Danish Girl) defect from 1963 East Berlin.
Facing some sort of threat from nuclear weapons or something - the actual plot is so slapdash and thin - the foes are forced to bro-team up with Vikander posing as Hammer's fiancee and something involving a beautiful shipping heiress or something; it's all quite forgettable as Ritchie pours on the period style.
There are a handful of laughs from throwaway gags like when the pair are told they'll be working together and when their bosses get up to leave the cafe, everyone else gets up as well because they were all agents, too, but they're not enough to compensate for an unengaging plot and cheesy one-upping dick-measuring by the leads. It's also clearly intended to set up a series of films because we can't possibly not want more of these wacky brotagonists, right? Fortunately, the lackluster box office take will probably prevent that from occurring.
Score: 3/10. Skip it.
The exceedingly long and give-the-whole-movie-away Comic-Con trailer: