Fans were confused whenThe Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Series briefcase was released. An affair was missing. It was complete for the original series, but where was the 1983 mission with Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum)? Did THRUSH get its revenge? Turns out Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair rights were controlled by a different studio. This is the same situation of the various Gilligans Island reunion specials. Luckily U.N.C.L.E. fans wont have to wait any longer. Return has arrived.
Both agents have gotten out of the spy game. They live on the fringe of the glamourous life without having too many life threatening moments. Napoleon sells computers and gambles his life away in Vegas casinos. Illya has entered the world of womens fashions. Since they hadnt rid the world of evil, their peaceful lives are about to get ripped apart.
THRUSH makes a major comeback by stealing a nuclear weapon. Anthony Zerbe (Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park) and Geoffrey Lewis (The man who looks like Robert Pine after a Hells Angels beatdown) have the plan all worked out. Theres no way the modern U.N.C.L.E. can stop them since its filled with pinhead agents. Patrick Macnee (The Avengers) has arrived to take over the headquarters. In the midst of the crisis, he knows theres only one hope for humanity: Activate Napoleon and Illya for duty.
In 1983 America was under siege by dueling James Bonds. Roger Moore was on the big screen in Octopussy. Sean Connery returned to the Bond role inNever Say Never Again. But the second EON Bond also revived his tux thanks to this small screen effort. During a chase scene, a third car joins the action. Its not any car, but an Aston Martin DB5 driven by George Lazenby. Everyone refers to him as J.B., but you can tell hes also 007. Lazenby only played the super spy in On Her Majestys Secret Service. Some critics mock this film, but it is one of the best of the Bonds. However judging from Lazenbys wooden performance in this chase, OHMSS‘s director Peter Hunt worked miracles with the guy. Probably the smartest career move Lazenby ever made was to not return for a second Bond outing.
Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair captures the fun and excitement of the original episodes. The creative forces behind this reunion dont try to take the movie in a different direction than the series. When Napoleon and Illya team up for this final mission, it is a continuation of the previous work. This doesnt come up lame like Get Smarts Nude Bomb comeback film. Return reminds a loyal viewer why they liked the series.
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer gives you enough detail to make out the Las Vegas Strip from 25 years ago. The audio is Dolby Digital Mono. Its loud enough so you can hear the countdown clock on the nuclear bomb.
Trailer (1:45) is the long form teaser that ran on TV to announce Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin were back to save the world from evil and explosions.
Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair brings back the characters so that you dont feel theyve ever left. Vaughn and McCallum click upon their reunion. If youve been feasting on The Complete Series, Return is the perfect dessert.
CBS DVD presents The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair. Directed by: Ray Austin. Starring Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Patrick Macnee and Keenan Wynn. Written by: Michael Sloan. Running Time: 96 minutes. Released on DVD: March 3, 2009. Available at Amazon.
Tags: James Bond, Robert Vaughn