Guy Ritchie has given the iconic 1960s TV series a slick and stylish reboot
Guy Ritchie has given the iconic 1960s TV series a slick and stylish reboot. A breezy mix of spy caper and buddy movie, this is a deliciously old-fashioned romp set in 1963 where, against a backdrop of Cold War suspicion and jet-set cool, we are taken back to the origins of the partnership between chalk-and-cheese espionage duo, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin. Henry Cavill’s Solo is a suave art thief-turned-equally debonair CIA operative, while Armie Hammer’s Kuryakin is a scowling, by-the-book KGB agent who looks daggers as well as throws them. The rival spies stop taking pot shots at each other, however, and reluctantly join forces to thwart an international gang of nuclear-bomb wielding villains with the aid of Alicia Vikander’s East German car mechanic Gaby Teller, the estranged daughter of a missing Nazi rocket scientist whose secrets the baddies want to exploit. The mission takes the trio from dour, drab East Berlin to glamorous, cosmopolitan Rome, where they encounter their ruthless adversary, Italian socialite Victoria Vinciguerra, portrayed with icy blonde hauteur by The Night Manager’s Elizabeth Debicki. Despite the high stakes, Ritchie and his heroes play it cool – as does a droll Hugh Grant, stealing scenes as spy boss Alexander Waverley. Save for one queasy sequence involving a former concentration camp doctor, a rare misstep, the film’s larky thrills and spills are enormous fun and Cavill and Hammer’s chalk-and-cheese chemistry is a delight.