Movie review of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”: Nothing much new here, but it’s all carried off with great visual verve and snappy dialogue. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer star. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.

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It’s the Napoleon and Illya show.

That would be Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), men from U.N.C. … Actually, no. Not at first.

In fact, not until the very end of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” does writer-director Guy Ritchie connect the men with the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Before they get there, in the end credits, the initials associated with them are CIA (for Solo) and KGB (for Kuryakin). It’s 1963, you see, Cold War prime time, and also the era of the super-popular prime-time spy series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum that brought the world of James Bond-style derring-do to the small screen.

Movie Review ★★★  

‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,’ with Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Hugh Grant. Directed by Guy Ritchie, from a screenplay by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram. 116 minutes. Rated PG-13 for action violence, some suggestive content and partial nudity. Several theaters.

Ritchie’s retooling of the U.N.C.L.E. concept tells how these espionage adversaries first meet and are forced into an uneasy alliance to thwart a plot involving a loose nuke, an icy blonde and a leering Nazi torturer. Now, before you groan, “What? Not another one!” — know this: The picture is quite clever and light on its feet.

Cavill’s Solo is a dapper smoothy, always well-turned-out (early on, a character zings him as “Mr. Important Suit”) and ever so self-satisfied, with eyebrow permanently arched and a sly superior smirk always at the ready. Hammer’s Kuryakin is the more interesting of the two (though his Slavic accent is dubious): tall, capable, super strong (early on, Solo notes with awe his ability to rip the back off a speeding car), hot-tempered and scornful of Solo.

Together, they spark off one another like a well-coordinated comedy team, which they kind of are, mocking each other’s spycraft and sartorial choices (“the bow tie doesn’t work with that suit”).

There is a woman, of course, a feisty beauty played by Alicia Vikander, who looks sensational in ’60s-inspired couture and is the men’s equal when it comes to delivering sardonic repartee.

The story, by Ritchie and co-screenwriter Lionel Wigram, is a mélange of espionage hugger-mugger with a zip-line escape over the Berlin Wall along with car chases and shootings in lovely foreign locations (Italy, in this case).

Nothing much new here, but it’s all carried off by Ritchie with great visual verve (lots of split screens) and snappy dialogue.

Some of the best and funniest bits happen in the background of scenes: a comical dance routine by Vikander and a sequence where Solo munches a tasty picnic-style supper, casually watching while a shoot-’em-up boat chase with Kuryakin as the quarry plays out in the distance.

As the end-credit, U.N.C.L.E.-explicating sequence makes clear, the movie is basically a setup for a sequel. I wouldn’t mind seeing it.