Title – The November Man (2014)
Director – Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job)
Cast – Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko
Plot – Now retired CIA agent Devereaux (Brosnan) is called back for one more job that ends up going south and sets him on a path against one time partner Mason (Bracey) that also involves scorned Russian women Alice (Kurylenko). Will Devereaux be able to win the battle?
“You can be a human or a killer of humans, but not both”
Review by Eddie on 23/06/2015
You know your films missing the mark when you can’t even draw out some charisma from a man that was once James Bond, as with The November Man we have a largely humorous, largely flavourless and totally generic spy thriller/actioner that struggles to difference itself from virtually all of its counterparts and with a story that tries to be many things, it ends up falling short on all aspects.
The November Man gets muddled in a plot so convoluted you’d think you’re watching a BBC miniseries not a 100 minute Saturday afternoon action flick and the film suffers for it. Taking oneself seriously is not by any means a crime but when scenarios and situations as silly as what happens in this film occur, it becomes an annoyance. We have such issues as Russian civil wars, child abductions, political power play, hidden families etc. etc. etc. It’s all a little too much and action focussed director Roger Donaldson struggles to maintain a cohesive/interesting narrative that his cast gets muddled up in.
Lumbered with the thankless role of a retired CIA agent back from the joys of everyday life to wage war on the big baddies, Pierce Brosnan barley makes a mark as Devereaux. Devereaux comes across as merely an angry man who can shot a gun decently and plan meeting spots. Others in the film all equate to about the same sentiment with Olga Kurylenko playing the same role she did in films like Hitman and Quantum of Solace and relative newcomer Luke Bracey gets the stereotypical young CIA agent role that sees him look concerned a lot. It would be right to say that with such a laboured set of characters the highlights in that sense here are the European set locations which are far more appealing than most of the narrative arc.
The November Man is a film you’ve seen countless times before, it’s not a horrible version of that story but it’s also one that doesn’t do enough to warrant any recommendation when its forefathers have set much higher benchmarks. A movie that will likely one day find an audience thanks to late night TV runs; this is one you can skip and catch up on in years to come when you find yourself on the couch and ready for some mindless action fixes.
2 handily placed shovels out of 5