FlixChatter Review: The November Man (2014)

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It’s been over a decade since Pierce Brosnan played a spy, his last outing as 007 in the atrocious Die Another Day probably was not the way he wanted to go out after 4 very successful Bond films, financially speaking only of course. Along with Die Another Day, I thought The World Is Not Enough is also up there with being one of the worst Bond films ever made. Brosnan is now back playing another sort of super spy and believe it or not, it might be worse than the last two Bond flicks he starred in.

This new film starts with the usual spy flick, a beautiful location in Montenegro and we’re introduced to an aging spy Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) and his young protégé David Mason (Luke Bracey). They’re in the city to protect a very important US Congressman, later there was an assassination attempt and during the chaos, Mason took out the assassin but unfortunately he also killed an innocent kid who happens to be in the wrong place. This infuriated Devereaux because the young spy wouldn’t listen to him and killed an innocent bystander. Fast forwarded a few years later and Devereaux is now retired and living in Switzerland. His old boss Hanley (Bill Smitrovich) showed up and asked for his help.

Apparently a very important and dangerous man named Federov (Lazar Ristovski) in Russia is going to become its next president and US government doesn’t want that to happen. There’s a mole inside Federov’s circle and she has evidence against him that can destroy his campaign of becoming the president. Hanley wants Devereaux to rescue her before she gets exposed and also he wants the evidence against Federov. As it turns out this mole is Devereaux’s old girlfriend and he still has feelings for her. Of course he accepts the mission and decided to get back in action. Unfortunately though, a top CIA executive Perry Weinstein (Will Patton) found out about this mole and wants her taken out. He ordered his agents to assassinate her, one of these agents also included Devereaux’s protégé David Mason. Of course things gets messy when Devereaux and his old pal finally meet during a botched rescue. There were shootouts, explosions and car chases.

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The plot of this movie was so convoluted that I sort of tuned out because it was not interesting to me. They introduced a lot of things but never really solved them by the time the movie ended. It’s one of those movies where it thinks it’s smarter than it’s actually is. Veteran director Roger Donaldson who at one point was on his way of becoming an A-list director, doesn’t seem to know what he wanted this movie to be. And to be honest, I don’t think he really care about telling a cohesive story or even staged a descent action scene. He and his cinematographer decided to adapt the visual that’s very similar to Paul Greengrass’ Jason Bourne films, unfortunately their movie looks pretty ugly compare to Greengrass’. Could be that maybe they don’t have the budget as big as the Bourne films but still the movie looked just awful. Even worse the script by Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek felt like it’s written by amateur writers. The movie was based on a Bill Granger’s  novel called There Are No Spies, I’ve never read or even heard of the book before so I couldn’t make a comparison here.

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Performances wise, the only person who shines was Brosnan, since he’s also the producer of the movie, it seemed he really put a lot of heart into his performance here. Unfortunately his co-stars didn’t do much. Luke Bracey probably went to the same acting school as Taylor Kitsch since he has no charisma and didn’t even look believable during the action scenes. Ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylengo pretty much got stuck playing the same character since Quantum of Solace, in fact her storyline in this movie is very similar to that of Quantum. I couldn’t believe it! I just thought to myself, are the writers really that lazy and didn’t think no one would notice?

It’s really unfortunate how this movie turned out, I thought after so many years out of doing action movie, Brosnan would’ve learned his lesson and chose a good script. Apparently he didn’t and starred in another lousy action/spy picture. I really tried to find something positive to say about this movie but I really can’t. It’s ugly, boring and worse of all just a waste of time. Not recommended at all.

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Have you seen The November Man? Well, what did you think?

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15 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: The November Man (2014)

  1. Saw this last night after work, on Discount Tuesday! This was kind of a mess, with occasional good scenes featuring Brosnan (most of those made the trailers). It seems like a basic cable thriller with some nudity and blood thrown in to up the ante for a feature release. I suspect a good deal more was left somewhere on a cutting room floor someplace. The studio probably took this film away, re-cut it, and now wishes to lay the blame on Donaldson for what arrived at theaters. Too bad as I would have liked to see Pierce Brosnan let loose à la Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington as a mature retired badass.

    1. Y’know who I’d love to see as a mature retired bad-ass spy? Timothy Dalton [natch!] And with the right script and more of a cerebral approach (more dialog, less explosions), that’d be a thriller I’d LOVE to see.

    2. Ted S.

      Exactly, I thought the movie should’ve gone directly to video or were made by Cinemax or USA Network. Very cheap looking and full of bad actors. That sex scene may have the worse sex scenes I’ve seen in a movie.

      It would be interesting if there’s another cut of the movie.

  2. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ted:

    The concept of using the student to kill or destroy his master goes back to at least the 1970s. With old OSS warhorse, Burt Lancaster being the target of his protege, in ‘Scorpio’.

    I imagine this flick isn’t a whole lot different. Though Olga Kurylengo makes for very nice eye candy, bait, decoy or distraction.

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Jack, yeah I think they tried to make this movie feels like it’s a 70s spy thriller but they failed on so many levels. Like I said, the movie thinks it’s smarter than it is.

      Yes Olga is pretty, LOL.

  3. Oh boy Ted, even just reading your review & looking at the stills from this movie bored me. Looks so run of the mill and since I’m not fond of Brosnan to begin with, I’ll steer clear of this one.

    1. Ted S.

      It’s a waste of time for sure and it’ll be on my worst of the year list. Right now this one and Need for Speed are on the top follow closely by Transformers 4. I’ve seen so many bad movies this year, the downside of free press screening I guess. LOL.

  4. Thanks for this review – I saw the preview, and I actually thought the movie looked terrible. It’s too bad for Brosnan . . . I hope he finds something where he looks a little better than this movie.

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