As can by expected of Ritchie, there are several pleasant camera turns and slick maneuverings, but all in all this is a disappointing outing from the man that brought us the innovative and dashing opening to Snatch years before. And for all his easy juggling of the throngs of characters in that outing, the ones of the mere trio here appear pale and consisting on physique only. Vikander is the sleekest of the pack, providing at times a fascinating clumpy alter-ego to the doe-footed robot Ava from Ex Machina and otherwise a convincing, compelling heroine from the very beginning car chase. However, her chemistry with the leads is slacking, and even more disappointing is the lack of chemistry between what is supposed to be the odd couple of Solo and Kuryakin. There's no joy in their repartee, and I can't help but compare this movie to X-Men First Class which was also set in the same time period. In contrast, X-Men has globs more period style, charisma, and an undeniable bromance rapport between the two male leads.
UNCLE had so much time-relevant pizzazz to draw from, there really is no excuse for how drab it is. In script and even in scenery, it lacks any snap. There are a few impressive action sequences, but they're not cohesive enough to the rest of the movie to really justify them. A wrestling romp between Kuryakin and Teller is certainly amusing, but makes no sense to the point of the story other than to exist.
UNCLE also unfortunately flounders because it's sandwiched in-between some easily better spy movies and will almost definitely be dwarfed by the next Bond installment, Spectre. Admittedly, it tries to be more humorous than the Bond movie ever could be, but for the most part it fails pitiably. It's interesting to note that Tom Cruise was given the lead role, but refused to work on Mission Impossible, which is the better movie in all aspects. UNCLE is a bit of fluff and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it's a case of the wrong place at the wrong time. It suffers because it exists concurrently with movies that do the same thing, only better. Cavill and Hammer reportedly did most of their own stunts, but knowing this is still not as impressive as Cruise's giveaway trailer stunt from hanging off the edge of the plane, mainly because most of their stunts don't seem to require them to break a sweat in their svelte, well-suited, chiseled bodies.
The best part of the movie for me was probably the jazzy flute soundtrack. Otherwise, I honestly remembered so little from watching this movie it almost made writing this review difficult.