Queer · TV & Movies

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: #queerpop or not?

While awaiting Ant-Man last Saturday, I became very confused when presented with this Man from U.N.C.L.E. trailer, because I couldn’t figure out what it was. There’s superhuman strength, is it a superhero movie? Wait, I guess it’s a spy movie…

I don’t usually pick up subtext, and eye contact means nothing to me. But my first reaction is OMGso much eyesex in this scene that even I can see it.

That’s entirely subjective, of course, so let’s talk specifics. There’s a “we hate each other but have to work together” setup, which would inevitably mean sex and/or romance in ANY action movie with opposite-sex leads. The “I work better alone” lines are the same — and does “I’m allowing you to tag along” refer to ANYTHING but Indiana Jones wanting to mack on a hot girl? I was dumbfounded at the possibility that this might be a real actual trailer about gay spies.

As the trailer goes along it seems more and more James Bond. That franchise has always been a male capitalist lifestyle ad more than a movie series. Perhaps a funnier, better-plotted James Bond, but still… There are women in the trailer, and they do more than just strut around in bikinis which makes me very happy, but they’re still presented sexually and in multiple sexual situations with the two men. And then at the very end I realized it was Man from U.N.C.L.E. “Oh yeah, I knew that was happening… And there’s zero chance of making existing spies gay. Zero chance.” So disappointing.

But later I watched the first trailer, and Henry Cavill makes a heels joke in which he does not actually seem to be joking… So now I’m stuck wondering if it’ll be a less-sexist, less-heteronormative action movie, or if it’ll just be ship-baiting and joking the whole way through instead.

If this isn’t queerpop, it darn well should be. But of all the genres, I think the big-budget summer action movie will be the very last space to be queered. What do you think?

8 thoughts on “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: #queerpop or not?

  1. Hannah, You need to drop out of museum studies and go to Hollywood to make films. I would totally want to see Man from UNCLE done your way. But I agree, the big-budget summer action movie will be the last film genre to transition.


        1. Either that or take it off altogether. Just haven’t gotten around to fooling with it. I thought I might replace it with an Amazon affiliate store with bookshelves for the books I’ve reviewed or are related to my topics… I saw that on another blog and loved it.



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