We’re working with the Russians. It doesn’t get any more Russian than the Red Peril here!
It was more or less ignored in 2015 when it came out, didn’t exactly make a profit and (as will almost all enjoyable films) received a less than spectacular rating on Rotten Tomatoes (the web site where critics parrot the shallow thoughts of one another completely unrelated to the actual quality of films). But The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (TMFU) shows a way out of our current problems with social issues.
The film itself follows a pretty basic premise (and no I don’t care about spoilers, you’ve had two years to see it). American CIA agent, former high end art thief, and quintessential debonair spy Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) is forced to to work with the thuggish Russian KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Arnie Hammer). The reason for this unusual pairing is that former Nazis have acquired the method for making nuclear weapons and they need to find the bombs and the scientist behind them quickly. With the help of a East German mechanic (in the employ of British Secret Service) they trade quips and insults, and take down the Nazi organization. The film is typical of director’s Guy Ritchie’s style, excellent witty banter, non-standard action scenes and a wonderful soundtrack (also a third act chase scene that seems shoehorned in by studio demands). But it is in the end a wonderful bit of humor and action and deserves a sequel sooner rather than later.
Now it would be foolish to say that this movie was intended as anything but stupid fun, and in many ways it is just that and nothing more.
But while it may not have been the intent of Guy Ritchie and writer Lionel Wigram the film can still be a light-hearted example of a much deeper truth applicable to the modern world. That truth is that in a situation where you have to pick between Nazis and Communists, choose to kill the Nazis first.
Why? Because while in practice both ideologies create literal Hell on Earth where millions will die and even more will suffer under tyranny, there is still a massive difference in degree and kind between the naïve idiocy of dunces like Kuryakin and all socialists/communists whose complete cluelessness actually think they’re out to bring about a paradise on Earth for everyone…and the active desire to kill all “inferior” races that defines all aspects of Nazism, fascism, racism, alt-right, pick your title. Yes some of the idiots claim they just want the races to be separated, but Hitler claimed much the same in Mien Kampf. It’s what they always claim before they’re in a position of power. And for all the claims to just want Germany for German, America for White People or Islam for the Middle East, understand that at the core of all fascism is the desire to conquer everything and kill all who are like them. I will give that most on the left through a lack of even a scintilla of understanding of basic economics think that their idiotic beliefs will work, even though even an ounce of common sense would tell you otherwise. Socialism comes from good intentions meeting with really stupid people. There are no such good intentions with fascism. There is only evil.
And like while the image of communists is given too glossy a sheen in the Red Peril, but at least they do cover that in Russia (and anywhere behind the Iron Curtain) is a hellhole, that people are sent to the gulags for political crimes, it is a fact that communists act this way because they have deluded themselves into thinking this is how you get a better world. They’re the key example of why good intentions lead to hell. There are no such delusions with fascism, they’re evil and they want to spread their hateful views.