Thursday, August 28, 2014
The November Man - 3 stars
Code named 'The November Man', Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is a lethal and highly trained ex-CIA agent, who has been enjoying a quiet life in Switzerland. When Devereaux is lured out of retirement for one last mission, he must protect valuable witness, Alice Fournier, (Olga Kurylenko). He soon uncovers this assignment marks him a target of his former friend and CIA protégé David Mason (Luke Bracey). With growing suspicions of a mole in the agency, there is no one Devereaux can trust, no rules and no holds barred. With a screenplay by Michael Finch & Karl Gajdusek based on Bill Granger's novel "There are No Spies" from the bestselling November Man book series, THE NOVEMBER MAN is the ultimate cat and mouse game set in the world of international espionage. Directed by Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job, No Way Out, Thirteen Days), the film is produced by Beau St. Clair of Irish DreamTime and Sriram Das of Das Films.(c) Relativity
Pierce Brosnan is back in spy mode, but this is no James Bond movie. Peter Devereaux has no problem killing anyone who gets in his way, no matter who they are. I lost count of how many CIA agents he shot who probably had no idea what they were involved in. There's a point where he does something to an innocent woman that I couldn't believe. From that point on, I was hoping that he would be killed before the end of the movie.
I do have to give the movie props for making the character so unlikeable. I'm sure the studio had some reservations about that. A lesser movie would have softened him up in order to make sure audiences would root for him until the end. I've never read the book series this is based on, but I imagine they stayed pretty faithful to the character.
The plot doesn't really matter so much. It involves the soon to be elected Russian president, a war years before between Russia and Chechnya, and some top level CIA officials who might have been involved. But the main focus of the movie is the relationship between Devereaux and Mason. They're both out to kill the other, and Devereaux enjoys taunting Mason whenever he gets the chance. Neither one is a likeable guy, and there were times were it felt like the movie wanted us to shift our sympathies to Mason.
There are problems with this movie, but I did find it entertaining. The action was well done, and no matter how much I didn't like his character, it was really nice to see Pierce Brosnan back in action mode. This character may actually be much closer to James Bond as originally written than the way he's portrayed in the Bond movies.