There are actors who are known for their work as a particular character. Certain stories work best when they take the reins. It might be weird, but The November Man tries to take advantage of just that. A movie about guns, violence, spycraft, the evil that men do and bullets. In the end, the film barely delivers. Based on a book, The November Man attempts to keep you nailed to your seat. But you aren’t going to stay focused for too long. In the end, the movie is an attempt at making you forget that Pierce Brosnan was ever Bond. But not a successful attempt.
Here is the skinny, we’ve got a retired CIA hunter-killer, Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan
) living out his days in peace and quiet. There were some traumatic experiences in his past which had led him to be incognito. But he didn’t leave the CIA without its own version of him, David Mason, (Luke Bracey). Now the world around Peter gets murky. He is pulled in to take care of an op (operation for the non-spies out there). Suddenly, the teacher and former student have to face-off from opposite sides. Who will emerge victorious and who will save the girl, Alice (Olga Kurylenko
)? Behind the scenes, there is a conspiracy and evidence of war crimes. Will Peter get to the bottom of the mess? By the way, he is known as the November Man, because once he passes, nothing lives.
It is an attempt at making a relevant and serious movie. An attempt, not a success. Pierce Brosnan is the lynch pin of this movie. As Peter, we get to see him shoot, drive, break bones and kick-ar$#. He does it well. You might think to yourself, hang on, we have seen him do just this before. Yes, this is a James Bond without the charm, finesse and wit. In other words, you will be hard-pressed to like his character. That being said, a character should be played and Pierce does well. He makes you believe that he is truly a killer without remorse. Luke Bracey is alright. He is mainly the foil to Pierce’s character. Their interaction is what takes the movie through some troublesome phases. Now getting to Alice played by Olga Kurylenko. Olga is good. She makes an impact. As Alice, she is an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a woman. In other words, she isn’t a simpering character whose very existence is just to move the story forward. The action is heavy and in certain areas, it is unexpected, much like a sniper shot. The chases are good and tight. With gun play all around, you are treated to Pierce being part-surgeon and part-maestro. The story gets a little tiresome because there are characters which do not add much to the movie. On the whole, a scrappy movie about a scrappy tough guy.
Why should you watch this film?
It is a return to form of sorts for Brosnan. Not a great return but hey, he shows that he’s still got it. We have the usual fare and the usual twists (watch, you will get a little surprise). It is a movie where there isn’t too much to follow, but enough to keep you interested in the plot. With enough gunplay and combat for everyone, the film is good for a weekend watch.