The new THRUSH is comprised of a venerable assortment of familiar faces from TV and film alike: Anthony Zerbe (later in License To Kill) hams it up as the somewhat flamboyant super villain (who comes complete with an ascot; frequent Clint Eastwood co-star Geoffrey Lewis as Janus (a name that nobody is able to pronounce correctly); Swamp Thing actor Dick Durock plays a henchman named Guiedo; John Harkins as Alexi Kemp, whose hair always seems to be bunched up and over to his left side; and the casting director even managed to wrangle up nearly-deceased Keenan Wynn just to look, well, old.
With THRUSH's ransom demands consisting of delivery by ex-U.N.C.L.E. agent Napoleon Solo (none of the current U.N.C.L.E. agents have the style or sophistication necessary to save the world, you see), Sir John has no alternative but to reenlist the present-day computer salesman (we first see Solo at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, sporting the frilliest tux this side of Liberace’s wardrobe and acting like he's a certain British secret agent whose name I will no longer mention). Knowing full well that he's been out of the game far too long to go at it alone, Solo requests that his former partner Illya join him — which is all fine and dandy except that Illya quit working for U.N.C.L.E. some years back after being betrayed by a double agent by the name of Janus and has no intention of returning (Illya's present occupation is that of a fashion designer — of course, Illya always did have a way with the women). Of course, as the predictable-but-fun story progresses, Solo and Illya reunite to save the world.
One thing that I had frequently heard from various U.N.C.L.E. fans over the years is that The Return Of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - The Fifteen Years Later Affair wasn't all that great — and that the reunion of Solo and Illya was a bit of a letdown in as writer Michael Sloan (who created both The Equalizer and The Master) wrote his script more in vein with the dreaded third season of the cult classic series. Sadly, that is true.
But Sloan's biggest mistake is that he didn’t pair-up the aging duo with each other and instead joined them with new (younger) characters: Solo treks across the world to Hoover Damn with hotshot U.N.C.L.E. agent Kowalski (Tom Mason), while Illya is teamed with a British actor (Simon Williams) who figures into THRUSH's plans since he may or may not know how to arm the nuclear device they’ve stolen. Now, despite the aforementioned no-nos, the charm of the original series is still there (as is the show's heart and humor). In fact, the addition of the new characters (no matter how annoying or trivial they may be) brings a breath of fresh air to the movie.