It’s the height of the Cold War. Solo is one of America’s best spies. Illya is one of the USSR’s best spies. They are forced to work together when the remnants of a Nazi organization have managed to capture Udo Teller, an Ex-Nazi scientist who was working on a major nuclear weapon breakthrough, and are feared to be close to developing nuclear weapons superior to those of the world powers. With their main point of contact being Gaby, the daughter of Udo, they embark together to Italy, where they suspect their base of operations is. Culture clash and conflicts arise, but in the end, they get it done.
This is a spy thriller comedy set during the Cold War, but honestly, we’ve been lacking on those a lot recently, so I’m very pleased with it. It takes the interesting stance of having an American and Russian agent on the same side. Not just working towards the same thing, which is done often enough, but as actual partners, which I believe is pretty unique. The American is a pretty standard gentleman spy type character. The Russian is a much rougher type. They both fit into national stereotypes really strongly, especially when they’re competing with each other, which is the source of the majority of humor. But there is major development in the relationship between the two, in that they start off completely hating each other, but after going through everything, by the end are to some extent friends. The girl and other characters were all a bit flat though, to the point that nothing that they did really seemed to be that surprising from a character point of view. Still, there was a certain sense of style to all of them and the whole affair that was interesting enough. Also I wonder if Udo Teller was intended to be related to or just a parody of Edward Teller, the father of the Hydrogen bomb.
This is all done in a light, but not too light, and amusing way, which is how I prefer my spy flicks. There were reasonably good twists and thrills with solid action and spectacular moments. It was going for a very specific style as a throwback, and had the cinematography, soundtrack, and designs of everything fit very well into that.
A humorous Cold War spy film that feels both authentic but solid.
As this is a reboot of an old show, and begins with an origins story, I think it’s pretty likely we’ll be getting more, or at least I hope so.