Pierce Brosnan is back. But is there reason to celebrate?
Brosnan charmed us as 007 over a decade ago, and since then, we have seen him pop up in dramas here and there, and how could we forget his turn in Mamma Mia? (My ears definitely don’t.) But I can’t think of many action films I’ve seen him in since James Bond. Now, he stars in The November Man. From the director of Dante’s Peak, I had hope for decent action thriller with that good Brosnan charm we all love. Unfortunately, we don’t quite get that with this movie.
Brosnan plays Peter Deveraux, a CIA agent who has retired from the life of killing and spying. A mission with a young agent, Mason (Luke Bracey), caused Peter to rethink the profession and chill out a bit. However, years later, his old CIA boss tracks him down for one last job, Peter has a hard time saying no because it involves a woman he is quite close to. The mission ends up going badly. The woman he loves is compromised and shot dead by the CIA themselves, since they considered her no longer worth anything to the agency. Leading that mission is Mason, the agent Peter had once mentored. Peter goes on a rampage against the agents who killed the woman but stands off when he sees Mason. They both part ways, and a cat-and-mouse game between the wise, former agent and young, impatient agent commences.
It would have been better if the two opposing agents had a better dynamic. Their characters were built off clichés, and you can totally see where their chase was going to lead to next. The utter predictability of the film takes a lot away from the suspense and plot twists. It also tries to comment on real world situations, but does it in such an odd way. The whole conspiracy this story is based on is so implausible and ridiculous. Not once could I suspend disbelief.
The women in the film are another problem. The film also tries to make social commentary on violence against women, yet the female characters are so hollow and only there for the male leads to pull and drag around. Olga Kurylenko is a beautiful, and she has the talent. (If you haven’t yet, see To The Wonder.) There is an opportunity for a great scene for her, when her character actually begins to take charge. Yet, of course, she ends up needing to be saved by Brosnan, no less.
The November Man feels a lot like Bourne movie, without the cool editing, high suspense, and thrilling plot. I went in hoping for something at least entertaining, but this movie is just too lackluster to enjoy. Honestly, I spent the whole time trying to figure out why it’s called The November Man. Was there a reference or allusion I was missing? The ending clearly explains why it’s called that, and that too was disappointing.
A poor, poor script can zap the charisma out of any actor. Just look at what The November Man did to Pierce Brosnan.
The November Man is now playing in theaters.