Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The November Man
Releases August 27th, 2014
1 hr 48 mins
Rated R
Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller


Director: Roger Donaldson

Pierce Brosnan as Peter Devereaux/The November man
Luke Bracey as David Mason
Olga Kurylenko as Alice Fournier
Bill Smitrovich as Hanley
Amila Terzimehić as Alexa
Lazar Ristovski as President Arkady Fedorov
Mediha Musliovic as Natalia Ulanova
Eliza Taylor as Sarah
Caterina Scorsone as Celia
Akie Kotabe as Myers
Will Patton as Perry Weinstein
Patrick Kennedy as Edgar Simpson
Dragan Marinkovic as Denisov
Ben Willens as Agent Jones

Review by Stephen M.

Growing up, Pierce Bronson was hands down my favorite James Bond.  Hearing about this movie, a spy thriller with Bronson as the lead had me excited to watch this.  While it's great to see an aged Bronson back in these type of movies, The November Man hurts my head when you try to think about the plot or multiple subplots.  Fairly predictable, the forced rivalries and mindless clues makes you long for GoldenEye or any of his other Bond films.

The movie starts out with a security mission gone awry when a child is killed.  Agent Devereaux (Pierce Bronson) blames his protege Agent Mason (Luke Bracey) on making the situation worse than it should have in his mind.  One retires and the other continues.  Fast forward many years and Devereaux is called back into action to retrieve someone in the employ of a powerful Russian politician, Arkady Fedorov, who's running for Russian presidency.  Things go bad, and the story gets amazingly convoluted from here.  The director fails to pick a direction, and instead we have multiple subplots going on at the same time that doesn't fit well together.  The biggest one is the perceived grudge between Mason and Devereaux that quickly tumbles to an all out war, and for what?

While Luke Bracey does a decent job as the next young action hero, he lacks the personality to be "the" star.  Olga Kurylenko as Alice Fournier continues to impress and not with just her pretty face.  I also enjoyed the presence of Amila Terzimehić as assassin Alexa.  I would have loved to see her in more action sequences.  The looks she gives you from the screen sends chills down my spine.  As far as the action overall, there is plenty of it.  From car chase scenes to gun fights including a lot of gruesome head shots if you're into that.  My favorite scene involves dialogue between Devereaux and his old friend Hanley (Bill Smitrovich) where he talks about having his hand so far up the butt of Fedorov, that he's moving his lips.

Overall, I would wait for this one on Netflix unless you're really missing out on Pierce Bronson in an action film.  It has the feel of a James Bond film, due to him being in it, with a calm and cool spy type character.  But there's just too much other stuff going on in the film that doesn't hold water that will have you scratching your head.  This film could be said that it's a passing of a torch from Bronson to a younger star, but as I said before, Bracey just isn't there yet.


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