The plot was thin and the characters had little to no chemistry. All the action sequences you saw in the trailers, were ALL the action sequences in the movie, with a plodding plot in between them. There was a split screen technique used mostly near the end that was a little annoying. Using it took away from the potential build up for drama, and it made me feel like they did it to fit a budget and nothing more. The score was loud, at times grating and though it was supposed to help create drama, it failed. Second half of the movie was better than the first, though again the split screen sequence I felt cheated us out of something that would have helped the movie.
I know this is a backstory movie pre-UNCLE and has Illya with major emotional and anger issues. Napoleon came across as flat with no charisma at all. His lines were all delivered the same way with no umph. It was like he was doing a Vaughn imitation but there was never any change in his delivery. Annoyingly stiff. There's a saying that comes to mind, though it's still inadequate..."You put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" That sort of says it all...that's the closest thing I could come up with.
As far as the homage to the original UNCLE theme...if you blink, you'll miss it. Pay attention to the scene where Napoleon is sitting in a truck cab eating a sandwich and starts to fiddle with the radio. It goes by that fast and was barely recognizable.
You could have had completely different names for the characters in this and the movies would have been exactly the same. It seemed there was really nothing to get the audience emotionally invested in the story or characters/heros. There was no cheering them on. That being said the movie still had its moments, but there wasn't enough of them.
There were 14 people in the entire theatre, and only one woman laughed at the 'humor' in the movie. I'd spoken to her before the movie and she said she'd never seen the original show. Honestly the humor wasn't anything great, and I think there was only one thing that made me chuckle.
Pay attention to the closing credits as they do flash 'the new" Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin dossiers... Don't know if this movie will do well enough for a sequel. Then again the uninitiated might like it.
Another woman closer to my age loved the show and thought the movie was entertaining but it definitely wasn't UNCLE. She gave it 3 stars... I would give it maybe 3 stars. 'nuf said. Hey everyone will get something out of it. Not a total waste of time, just not as good as I hoped it would be.
Still glad I had that free pass...