Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Man From UNCLE

The new film could have begun by reproducing the visuals of the TV series but would then have had to go on to do more: to ground the series firmly in the Cold War period. Instead, it did something as good or better. It began with the period. We see Kennedy and Khrushchev. We do not recognize any theme tune or background music. The action starts in East Berlin. Solo is with the CIA, Kuryakin is with the KGB and they are trying to kill each other. Kuryakin is recognizable but bigger but that fits. He should be physically powerful.

Will UNCLE appear or has it been replaced by two real organizations, the CIA and the KGB? It has to appear because it is in the title - but does not come on stage until right at the end. This is partly a prequel and partly a rewrite. What we saw before was a popular TV series. This is the real thing. UNCLE might remain a four-person task force or could grow to fill a building in New York. The series could move in either direction.

A threat from corporate crime and surviving Nazis is big enough to bring together a covert operation involving Waverley, Solo, Kuryakin and a new version of the Girl. THRUSH may or may not emerge later.

The Girl In The Spider's Web

He does it right. He develops the characters and situations and introduces new characters and situations that fit. He does two good things with Bublanski. He adds an appropriate comic book connection. The story of Lisbeth's criminal family is not over yet.

This text is not based on any manuscripts left by Larsson so I hope that someone else will develop them. Two parallel Millennium universes.

One minor difference: Lagercrantz's text is less dense. It concentrates less information into each square inch of the page. But that does not prevent this novel from being an authentic continuation. I hope that Lagercrantz writes more. He plants clues that more will come: the sister and another brother.