Title: The November Man
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Roger Donaldson
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko
Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins
What It Is: Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) is a former CIA operative working in the unstable Balkan area of Eastern Europe, namely Belgrade in Serbia. Peter is a man who knows how to get it done. Need to protect a foreign dignitary? You got it. Assassinate a corrupt world leader he’s gotcha! He’s so well trained they have him train new recruits. One of those recruits is David Mason (Bracey) a brash sharp shooter who isn’t as disciplined as Peter would like. After a mission goes awry Peter knows David isn’t all that good at taking orders. Fast forward 5 years later and a retired Devereaux is brought back into the spy game by his friend Hanley (Bill Smitrovich). The mission is to retrieve a girl who has a valuable piece of information that could change the political landscape in that part of the world
What We Think: Granted the build up, and execution throughout the first 2/3rd’s of the movie is really well done and it’s clear Donaldson (whose two best works are Kevin Costner vehicles.) is trying for a Jack Ryan lite approach. It works pretty well, until we get to the final third where the wheels just begin to fall off thanks to too too many cliche’s. Even the reveal is cliche enough in that it isn’t so much a surprise as it is more of a huh? Or in my case a why? But here’s the thing Brosnan is kicking some serious CIA ass so you don’t really care about the cliches.
Our Grade: C-, Solid action fodder isn’t without it’s problems I’ll recommend it if you just want to have a fun time at the movies, but for a deep and highly suspenseful thriller you’re better off looking elsewhere. Brosnan proves he isn’t quite down taking down bad guys, Luke Bracy however is somewhere wooden, and as for Olga Kurylenko you won’t really care. It smells like a Bond film, tastes like a Bond film, and sounds like a Bond film, but a Bond film it is not. Brosnan’s Deveraux lacks the clear motivation of the iconic 007. He has his Bond girl, who in a twist of irony was already a Bond girl anyway!