ROB HEDELT reviews movies and TV shows, and is a columnist for The Free Lance-Star. You can email him at email@example.com.
Brosnan smooth but “November Man” no home run
It’s got Pierce Brosnan playing a spy, a story line about a killer turned on the man who trained him and several good action scenes.
Then why isn’t “The November Man” a home run of a spy flick?
Instead, it settles for being simply a diverting action outing.
Brosnan, smooth before other spy guys even knew what that meant, helps to lift this a touch above the ordinary.
But a script that mixes in way too many plot lines combines with an uneven pace and a few action scenes that feel forced to make this more mundane than many hoped for.
Before the film is done, viewers will come to understand that this is all about the way a former Russian general and a CIA section chief conspired to start the Second Chechen War.
But it takes several murders, chase scenes, double-crosses and more to get a clue about that, things getting so jumbled that it becomes hard to care.
We do understand that former CIA agent Devereaux (Brosnan) is the good guy, a young woman he’s trying to help knows about the Chechen business and a CIA operative/killer named Mason (Luke Bracey) has been sent after the man who trained him (Devereaux).
It could all have been done much more smoothly and probably with less grisly violence.
When Brosnan was James Bond, it didn’t take much back story to send him into a mission.
We knew the pattern by heart: Bond got a mission, found a girlfriend, she got killed, he found the bad guy and another girl friend, the bad guy captured Bond, he got away and save the day, and the credits rolled.
Here, the film could have benefited from more of a back story, less dashing about and a moment when at least one of the good guys seemed trustworthy.
Still, even an older Brosnan has the look and feel of a spy when he wants to, and he does here.
It would be nice to see this character come back, but next time with a more compelling and straightforward script.
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