Spectre (2015)

Spectre
Written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth.
Released Monday 26th October 2015 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc.
Rated 77%
Certified 12A (British Board of Film Classification)
148 minutes

Spectre nudges Daniel Craig’s rebooted Bond closer to the glorious, action-driven spectacle of earlier entries, although it’s admittedly reliant on established 007 formula.

Spectre is a film which looks to be revealing the writers’ non-existent secret plan but in the process just comes across as trying too hard. Spectre is the organisation behind the Craig era films’ organisations, from Casino Royale, through Quantum and whoever Rodriguez was supposed to be working for during Skyfall. But the problem is that it seems to be working backwards and finding a way to connect them, rather than being the conclusion to a story arc. Which has the effect of making it look like fanfiction more than anything else.

The main problem is that it doesn’t try to be about anything. All Spectre provides is a connection between the Craig era’s three previous films, but that’s a premise which is completely arbitrary. Particularly as the Bond series has the habit of rebooting itself every few films. There’s no official continuity of James Bond, but my headcanon is that each Bond takes place in their own world.

So for one film of many, constantly-resetting, other films, to reveal that something’s connected them all, is meaningless given the next one will probably be the last one of this era. Therefore, Spectre, as a film, lives for the moment rather than remembering what franchise we’re dealing with. Not that I’m against using SPECTRE – it’s just that, if this Bond era is going to get its own version of the organisation started with Sean Connery, it’s disappointing that it’s more of an origin story than anything else. And to make that origin story seem unique, a lot of liberties are taken.

Particularly with the revelation that “Franz Oberhauser” is indeed Ernst Blofeld. Just like how Naomie Harris denied that “Eve” was Moneypenny. As well as “Obserhauser” wearing Blofeld’s iconic Nehru suit, is seen in the trailers overseeing Spectre from the shadows, being a German character played by a German actor, implied to have a close relationship to Bond as children, actually being Blofeld even if not in name regardless, seen with motion-tracking dots where Blofeld’s iconic scar is, and initially having no official character name. It was obvious from before Spectre had begun that “Oberhauser” was in fact Blofeld.

And yet, this was constantly denied. Clearly, an attempt was being made to surprise the audience when Spectre turned-out to be Blofeld’s origin story… despite the title being the same name as the organisation Blofeld commands in previous Bond eras. It’s all build-up to the real story, as if people don’t know who Blofeld is. Other than perhaps Goldfinger, Blofeld is the most well-known “Bond villain”.

Blofeld’s the Moriarty to Bond’s Holmes, and Spectre is even executed like the James Bond version of The Final Problem (Arthur Conan Doyle) – Bond finds the mastermind responsible for setting-up all his previous cases (which just happen to be those by sheer coincidence) and in defeating that mastermind makes himself irrelevant. But many of the scenes in Spectre was the debate between Mallory and Denbigh over Bond’s effectiveness. After Skyfall so successfully told a Bond tribute that used that very concept as its own premise, it’s mind-boggling that Spectre re-uses the same story ideas and then contradicts itself at the end. Bond was only needed because of Spectre’s existence, and now that Blofeld’s behind bars, Bond’s no longer required.

As a character, Spectre reduces Bond to being driven by an improvised destiny as opposed to himself. Every Bond film of the Craig era has now been essentially retconned into simply being a three-act prologue to Spectre, the main event. And yet, Spectre becomes really predictable as a result. The jump-scare moment isn’t scary because it’s obvious from the framing, Denbigh being a Spectre agent is obvious from the start given his goals, Blofeld being Bond’s adoptive brother was like a two-piece jigsaw, and Blofeld being incarcerated at the end was pre-determined from him being Blofeld, i.e.: a recurring character.

And it’s so obviously being set-up for a sequel. With no more Blofeld to kill Bond’s “girls”, Bond settles down with Swann and enters a situation reminiscent of On her Majesty’s Secret Service (Richard Maibaum). So it turns-out that Spectre is also just a prologue for Bond 25. As far as Bond eras go, Craig’s is the most narrative-based, but to its own detriment; as a result of Spectre, none of them are stories anymore – merely extended pre-credits sequences that continue longer than the extended take that director Sam Mendes opens with.

The question now is, where do we even go with Waltz’s Blofeld? And what about Spectre? Bond seems to be forgetting that Spectre’s still out-there in Rome, and presumerably, Blofeld’s No. 2 will replace him. And what about the other agents?

They could be in MI6 still. But instead, Bond’s got the underdeveloped girl with whom zero chemistry is produced, and has driven off into the sunset in the rebuilt Aston Martin DB5 that was felt so forced into the plot that the simple purposes of nostalgia were obvious. It worked for Skyfall because of the occasion, but in Spectre, it’s just another throw-back to hide the present story not working. When there isn’t confusion, there’s predictability.

And when there isn’t predictability, there’s nostalgia. Which is a word originally used to diagnose the inability to move on from the past. Which is ironic, given Spectre is trying to reinvent the past by telling Blofeld’s origin story and retroactively acting as a semi-prequel to the Craig era. Now, Casino Royale (Paul Haggis), Quantum of Solace and Skyfall are lesser films, because they’re supporting Spectre.

Even the antagonists are lesser for it, because they’re supporting Blofeld. That sounds a premise with much potential – the Bond Villain of Bond Villains, so to speak –  but the execution is too self-absorbed to know when to stop. So much time is spent wading through the past and continuity that if everything carried-over from before is stripped-away, Spectre is very shallow as a film. Spectre‘s only contribution to the franchise is the establishment of a a connection never present, and therefore in a way that’s difficult to believe due to the short-cuts taken.

Short-cuts which cast aside what’s been the era of the best Bond so far simply because of its own over-inflated sense of self importance. Critically, the most popular Bond film is Goldfinger (Paul Dehn), but it didn’t get there by driving a steam-roller over From Russia With Love (Johanna Harwood) and Dr. No (Berkely Mather). And it too wasn’t steam-rolled by Thunderball (John Hopkins), You Only Live Twice (Roald Dahl), Diamonds are Forever (Tom Mankiewicz) or Never say Never Again (Lorenzo Semple, Jr.).. It just remembered that it was a film, like any number of films, and decided it only wanted merit for being the film that it was, not because it was trying to resemble a Netflix finale.

We could’ve had the Craig era’s take on SPECTRE and Blofeld, but instead you get the impression that SPECTRE was chosen simply because of the intention to foolishly tie the previous Craig films together, and not because SPECTRE was anything more than convenient narrative collateral with brand recognition. And that’s why Spectre is Blofeld’s origin story, rather than than just being a fully-blown film that embraces and celebrates Blofeld as a character. But instead, Blofeld had to begin as “Oberhauser” in an attempt to make us believe that’s who the character really is. But “Oberhauser” was so obviously Blofeld that one wonders why Sony weren’t realistically open with this.

It could’ve been a marketing opportunity. But now, previous antagonists are forced into a context that doesn’t fit at all. Rodriguez is revealed to have been a Spectre agent, despite only having been motivated by his intention to revenge himself on Mansfield, and therefore being one of the most complex antagonists of the series. But not anymore – now, like the other characters of the Craig era – he was simply a servant of someone else. I just hope the Craig era doesn’t become a servant unto itself.

Other reviews

Editorial: a due change

My goal with reviewing films was to do so every day, but as anyone who’s actually tried to follow this blog will know, that isn’t happening. So I’ve been reconsidering my approach to film-reviewing, and this how I’ll be doing so going forward:

Reviews will now be weekly based on opening weekends. Opening weekends begin Friday evenings and end on Monday, so I’ll be reviewing films opening then, with exceptions. The weekend’s openings will be based on what my local cinema has added, and I’ll be selecting the film best reviewed to view. While that’s not to say I’ll agree, I’ve been hurt too many times by needing my own opinion. I’ll also be referring to percentages on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as Schmoes Know, the only YouTube channel verified by them. I’ve already booked my ticket for Star Wars: the Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan), so that’s the film I’ll be seeing that week regardless. So it’d better be good*.

So this week’s new releases are The Last Witch Hunter (15%, Cory GoodmanMatt Sazama and Burk Sharpless)Paranormal Activity: the Ghost Dimension (unrated, Jason Harry PaganAndrew DeutschmanAdam Robitel and Gavin Heffernan) and Spectre (88%, John LoganNeal PurvisRobert Wade and Jez Butterworth). Three films, only one of which has received positive reception. So therefore, Spectre will begin my weekly reviews of new films.

I just feel this system is less pressuring, and more in-touch with modern films.

My Spectre review will be posted next week.


Episode V rated 95%

Episode IV rated 94%

Episode III rated 80%

Episode VI rated 78%

Episode II rated 67%

Episode I rated 57%

Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan — single drama review

Premièred by Paramount Pictures
Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan
Written by Jack B. Sowards

Is Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan the best of the Star Trek features? It’s considered and accepted to be by fans, but critically, it’s only the third highest-scoring. Nevertheless, it’s still extremely popular, and has inspired the most homages in popular culture. Whatever one subjectively thinks of it, the creative industry has looked to the second Star Trek feature for material more than the others. Which is both interesting and ironic, given that the story is essentially Moby Dick; or, the Whale in space, inspired by Herman Melville‘s novel. That was the approach taken by director Nicholas Meyer – it’s a modern day ocean adventure with a science fiction dressing. That’s when science-fiction is at its best – when it’s telling a universal story through a particular style. Is science fiction even a genre? A genre is a category of an artistic medium based on form, style or subject matter.

The form in this case is a motion picture feature. Using moving images to tell a story, based on a written blueprint that follows the composition of others to make sense to the other artists involved. Whereas a style is just a “manner of doing something”, which is more attributable to the director than anything else. The auteur theory suggests that each film-maker has their own, unique style, but then that’s obvious, because the director’s the principal artist. Every artist has fingerprints on their works. So in that sense, Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan is simply “a film by Nicholas Meyer”, which is just a factual statement. It even says “a film by Nicholas Meyer” in the credits. But then subject matter is really where the meaning comes-from. And in that sense, Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan is the best of the Star Trek features because its subject matter is the most substantial. Science fiction is so popular because it raises questions and tries to answer them by creating fantastical analogies that all relate back to the real world.

But it’s not “just science fiction”, it’s Star Trek. And the core of the Star Trek universe is Leonard Nimoy as Spock. He’d been hesitant to reprise his role based on confirmed suspicions from previously, but was persuaded to do so by the plot point of Captain Spock dying. This, Nimoy figured, would be a way to finally put the role to rest with a definitive end. And Meyer embraced that element of the story as the strongest character moment. The reason Spock’s death works so well is because it resonates with the rest of the narrative in perfect synch. The story was crafted around the concept of killing a character like Spock, which gives Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan a thematic overtone that other Star Trek features simply don’t have.

Spock’s death became the key scene in a story with themes relating to it, but that meant those themes had to be developed. Death is finite in storytelling, and often impacts the story less because a character’s now absent, but because other characters will be affected by that absence. And there was never going to be anyone more affected by Spock’s death than Admiral Kirk. Which meant that, if Kirk were to be affected by Spock’s death, Kirk’s own feelings about such things had to be established. That lead to the scene in Kirk’s apartment in-which Doctor McCoy visits Kirk and their conversation brings-up those themes. Kirk’s next strongest bond after Spock was to McCoy; therefore, using McCoy to establish Kirk’s own feelings about death would be a more subtle way of giving his reaction to Spock’s own death meaning than having Spock be the one with whom he discusses those feelings. This scene in particular is the second most important in the story, and shows how Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan uses storytelling-by-numbers to create something artistic, substantial and meaningful.

By having established Kirk’s evasive personality to matters such as death, a character flaw’s established. The Kobayashi Maru test is explained in the plot as being something Kirk cheated to win his captaincy, despite being rewarded for it. The character development as such follows a natural pattern: Kirk confronts his own fear of death, then has to deal with it when it confronts him. But for that second element to make sense (the first being explained with the death of Spock, Kirk’s oldest friend), it must be presented as a challenge. Kirk, in the Star Trek series, was presented as a great space hero, a man who could overcome anything. Gene L. Coon and Carey Wilber created Khan Singh in the episode Space Seed, which ends with Kirk banishing Singh to Ceti Alpha V, which is referenced in dialogue. That episode was very much in keeping with Kirk’s status as a flawless hero, which fit the period for 1960s television being very pulpy but no less entertaining. Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan‘s status as a Star Trek: Space Seed sequel also makes it, in that regard, a sequel to Star Trek itself. As arguably the protagonist, Kirk’s development as understanding himself to be a flawed hero is the franchise itself coming to understand itself as it reaches its age. The Kobayashi Maru test presents us with a man who can’t be beaten, not even by a dictator, who then has to understand that inevitably he’ll be defeated by time, in the same way as Singh – the aforementioned dictator – being defeated himself.

This also makes Singh the other side of this. He’s the figure from Kirk’s past – the embodiment of everything he was during that time. Kirk finds himself facing Singh, and this is the reason he finds himself reflecting on his past. The two characters are fixed against each other ironically – Singh has thought about Kirk constantly since his exile, but Kirk’s forgotten Singh until he sees him on the view screen. Singh made the decision to reveal his identity to Kirk in order for Kirk to know who’d beaten him, but finding himself faced with his past is what made Kirk able to defeat him, as it helped him address the mid-life crisis he felt he was having, and to finally move on from it. But the cost of that was Spock’s death, which presented the next challenge to Kirk. Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan shows an example of an effective storytelling technique – if the protagonist’s experiences are to change them, the story must end with them facing their next challenge, which fits with the challenge they’ve just overcome. Spock’s death prompted Kirk to finally understand that he was flawed, and the next stage of his life is to tackle the problem of understanding those flaws, and the conduit for that is how he’s to live without his oldest friend.

But Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan succeeds as a story because it allows the audience catharsis. Kirk’s acceptance of the challenge to live without Spock presents the audience with the possibility that he may yet become heroic again, an exciting prospect. It’s often said that science fiction serves as an analogy for real life, and the inclusion of a major character’s death is the closest it can come to reality, because death is the one thing everyone must eventually face. By having a fictional character face that universal prospect, it’s the most accurate mimicry of real life, and the one to which everyone can relate the most. Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan is not the only Star Trek feature to include the death of a major character, but it’s the only one that shows death for what it is by having another major character with some connection to them be affected by it. Kirk dies in Star Trek Generations (Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga), but nobody from the original Star Trek series was with him, so it wasn’t as impacting. When Lieutenant Commander Data was destroyed in Star Trek Nemesis (John Logan), he was only an android anyway. When Lieutenant Yar died in Star Trek: the Next Generation – Skin of Evil (Joseph Stefano and Hannah Louise Shearer) , that didn’t have an impact either because she’d only been a regular for one season. In fact, the only other Star Trek franchise character death that works is considered to be Lieutenant Commander Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Tears of the Prophets (Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler), because she’d been a regular for six seasons. And when Commander Tucker died in Star Trek: Enterprise – These are the Voyages… (Rick Berman and Brannon Braga), it was considered forced and unnecessary. Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan‘s the only Star Trek death to actually have both impact and cultural resonance. So much so that it was even famously recreated in Star Trek Into Darkness (Roberto OrciAlex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof), to much criticism, which also noticed the way the Alternate Reality’s death had been cured when Captain Kirk’s revived using alternate Singh’s blood.

What Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan gives us is an ordinary story with added elements for style to make it unique. A man faces something from his past –> realises he isn’t indestructible –> must face the death of an old friend –> accepts the challenge and goes on living, being a changed person. And it takes place within the Star Trek universe, combining elements of it in such a way as to still make sense, and developing them to have a greater meaning than previously. It takes a lot to use elements from something already existing and transform them into something more. And the fact that everyone involved did that should show other storytellers how a story should first be universal, and only then, unique. Contrary to popular cynicism, there’s nothing wrong with franchises if the story has some substance. The reason Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan‘s often cited as the best of Star Trek is – get this – because it’s got the best story. All people want from Star Trek is a good story that makes sense and means something. And, based on the given analysis above, it’s clear Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan does that the most.

Road to… The man From U.N.C.L.E.

Last weekend, Warner Bros. Pictures released Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram‘s adaptation of the television series The man From U.N.C.L.E..

The original series featured 105 episodes between 1964 and 1968 as a collaboration between creator Norman Felton and You Only Live Twice‘s Ian Fleming, creator of lead character Napoleon Solo. Other contributing writers were Robert Towne, Sherman Yellen and Harlan Ellison. The pilot episode featured character Ilya Kuryakin, who drew positive reception from audiences, prompting Felton to make him the second lead rather than April Dancer. Solo and Kuryakin would star in the series as two spies working for United Network Command Law Enforcement, Section Two – Operations and Enforcement. Solo was Number One and Kuryakin was Number Two. The third and final regular was Alexander Waverly, Number One of Section One. It wasn’t so much The man From U.N.C.L.E. as The men From U.N.C.L.E.. U.N.C.L.E. was founded by the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from mutual fear of T.H.R.U.S.H. Producer Sam Wolfe created U.N.C.L.E.’s hierarchy, and designed it as a global agency recruiting agents from anywhere.

The series’ pilot was feature length. W.A.S.P. took the place of T.H.R.U.S.H., and Allison took the place of Waverly. Kuryakin has a brief role, which would be upgraded to major for the rest of the series. The original version was edited to an hour, titled The Vulcan Affair (Wolfe). Due to the unseen feature-length edition, The Vulcan Affair was released theatrically as To Trap a Spy. The success of this lead to other feature-length stories from the show being released theatrically…

Clyde Ware and Joseph Calverri‘s The Double Affair also had additional scenes, which was included in the cinematic version, The spy With my Face. The United Kingdom release was titled Mr. Solo, and not marketed as part of the series. It remained in British cinemas for two months, which elevated the series to top ratings on ITV Granada.

Season two premièred with the two-part Alexander the Greater Affair (Dean Hargrove). These two episodes were released theatrically as a single feature, One spy too Many, which not only added a romantic subplot that were more sexual than what was seen in the series, but also removed elements from the television broadcast to compensate. Sydney Morning Herald’s Richard Neville described One spy too Many as “a slick and imaginative production, it is nothing more than a celluloid comic strip”.

Another second season two-parter, The Bridge of Lions Affair (Howard Rodman, Wolfe and Henry Slesar) was also released theatrically as One of our Spies is Missing. This was adapted from a tie-in novel, Slesar’s The Bridge of Lions. This involved scenes being rearranged to accommodate the run time, as well as new scenes being filmed to add substance.

Season three featured another two-parter, The Concrete Overcoat Affair (Peter Allan Fields). Unlike previous theatrical releases of episodes, less changes were made to the televised version. The music was carried-over, and no new scenes were added. Some scenes were re-edited to include longer versions than seen in the original episodes. The theatrical title was The spy in the Green Hat.

Another third season two-parter, The Five Daughters Affair (Norman Hudis), was released theatrically as The Karate Killers. Like The Concrete Overcoat Affair/The spy in the Green Hat, minimal changes were made, though these did include musical changes, and scenes were trimmed rather than extended, but still made more graphic than the broadcast edition.

Season four’s final two-part episode, The Prince of Darkness Affair (Hargrove), was released theatrically as The Helicopter Spies. Like The Concrete Overcoat Affair/The spy in the Green Hat and The Karate Killers/The Five Daughters Affair, little changes were made. Scenes remained generally the same apart from being longer to include more mature material, and few scenes were added. But music was changed as before. Alternate cuts were used, involving different camera angles and higher quality stock footage of the rocket launch. Of all the theatrical releases of television episodes, The Helicopter Spies resembled its original television edition the closest.

The final two episodes, The Seven Wonders of the World Affair (Hudis), were released theatrically as How to Steal the World. This was the only theatrical edition to not feature Jerry Goldsmith’s theme music.

The television series was cancelled during its fourth season. Its popularity had lead to imitators, which caused the original show to experiment with different styles that regular audiences felt tested their loyalty. Ratings dropped, and National Broadcasting Company cancelled The man From U.N.C.L.E..

After the cancellation, the series’ cast would reunite in a television feature, The Return of the man From U.N.C.L.E.: the Fiteen-Years-Later Affair (Michael Sloan). This was instead broadcast on Columbia Broadcasting System, guest starring The Avengers‘ Patrick Macnee and featuring a tribute to Ian Fleming with a George Lazenby character driving an Aston Martin DB5 identified as J.B., the initials of Fleming’s most popular character, James Bond. (Lazenby portrayed Bond in the adaptation of Fleming’s On her Majesty’s Secret Service (Richard Maibaum and Simon Raven), and Bond drives the Aston Martin DB5 in the adaptations of Goldfinger (Maibaum and Paul Dehn), Thunderball (Maibaum and John Hopkins) and Skyfall (Neal PurvisJohn Logan and Robert Wade) and the theatrical features GoldenEye (Michael FranceJeffrey CaineKevin Wade and Bruce Feirstein) and Tomorrow Never Dies (Feirstein). It also appears in the adaptation of Casino Royale (Purvis, Wade and Paul Haggis).) The television feature establishes that T.H.R.U.S.H. is disestablished, with their leader incarcerated. Kuryakin resigned after a mission in-which an innocent was killed and now designs fashion. Solo was dismissed, and sells computers, until he’s contacted through the radio pen he kept for sentimental reasons and assigned to capture T.H.R.U.S.H.’s escaped leader. Solo and Kuryakin are separated for the majority, working as a back-door pilot to a potential new series that wasn’t commissioned.

In 1993, producer John Davis optioned theatrical film rights to Warner Bros. Pictures and Felton. Over the next twenty years, Davis claims, he commissioned twelve to fourteen screenplays from such screenwriters as Jim ThomasJohn ThomasJohn RequaGlenn Ficarra and Scott Z. Burns. Burns’ screenplay was selected by director Stephen Soderbergh, slated to begin production in March 2012. Warner Bros. Pictures line producers wanted a budget beneath USD60, 000, 000, a budget Soderbergh felt wouldn’t meet the required period, props and locations. In November 2011, Soderbergh departed. It was eventually directed by Guy Ritchie. Armie Hammer was signed as Kuryakin with Tom Cruise set to be Solo. Cruise dropped-out to work on Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (Christopher McQuarrie), adapted from the fourth season of Mission: Impossible, which began as one of The man From U.N.C.L.E.‘s imitators. Cruise was replaced with Henry Cavill. Hugh Grant was cast as Waverly. Production began in September 2013 in London and Italy. Principal photography began on 9th September 2013, utilising locations from across Europe and with a final budget of USD75, 000, 000. Ritchie’s collaborator David Allcock said of Ritchie’s process:

“He’s quite intuitive and tends to constantly rewrite stuff, which he does even when they’re shooting. He’ll rewrite things in the morning if they’re shooting that day, working with the actors if something doesn’t feel right.”

Originally scheduled for release on the 16th – 18th January 2015 weekend, Warner Bros. Pictures moved release on 12th August 2014 to the 14th – 16th August 2015 weekend. Goldsmith’s original score was replaced with Daniel Pemberton. It opened to USD13, 421, 036 at third in the box office, directly beneath Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, which had opened three weekends prior. In the United Kindgom, it opened with GBP1, 448, 298 to fourth position, also directly beneath Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, which opened in the same weekend as its North American release. In the Russian box office, the Cold War theme is considered by analysts to have helped its performance, as it opened with RUB201, 036, 611 at number one, instead directly above Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, which was only in its second week. Metacritic scored The man From U.N.C.L.E. at 55, “mixed or average reviews”. Rotten Tomatoes aggregated its reviews to 66%, and said “The man from U.N.C.L.E. tries to distract from an unremarkable story with charismatic stars and fizzy set pieces, adding up to an uneven action thriller with just enough style to overcome its lack of substance”. The North American under-performance was compared with Straight Outta Compton (Jonathan Hermann and Andrea Berloff) having a better marketing campaign, as well as Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation having already provided enough espionage until Purvis/Wade/Logan’s Spectre, the first Bond after Skyfall. The liberal use of the original series as a property was also thought to have been too limiting to the target audience for having little brand recognition.

The man From U.N.C.L.E. was written by Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram, based on the television series by Ian Fleming and Norman Felton.