Thursday, August 28, 2014
Movie Review: ‘The November Man’
Article first published as Movie Review: ‘The November Man’ on Blogcritics.
August has always been known as a Hollywood dump month. Lots of trash left for audiences to pick through while they wait for school and football to start again. This year we got lucky with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy, which is still cleaning up nicely at the box office and has officially become the highest grossing film of the summer. But since then we’ve been bombarded with the likes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Into the Storm, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and If I Stay. And just when we thought the dust was beginning to settle, along comes Pierce Brosnan in the summer’s dopiest film yet: The November Man.
Brosnan stars as CIA agent Pete Devereaux, whom we meet training his protégé Mason (Luke Bracey). Mason has an itchy trigger finger and an assassination attempt results in Pete taking a couple of hits and a dead child. Five years later, Pete is retired but is asked by his old CIA buddy Hanley (Bill Smitrovich) to help out the love of his life Natalia (Mediha Musliovic), who’s working undercover in Moscow under the sleazy Arkaday Federov (Lazar Ristovski). After Mason takes out Natalia, Pete sets himself on a mission to find out why she was killed, leading to a missing war refugee and a key witness named Alice (Olga Kurylenko) with super assassin Alexa (Amila Terzimehic) hot on their tails.
If it wasn’t for the fact that November Man is so pedestrian through most of its runtime, the Bad Boys finale could probably have been more forgivable. Unfortunately, director Roger Donaldson brings absolutely nothing new to the table. It also doesn’t help that writer Michael Finch is adapting Bill Granger’s novel There Are No Spies as a long-lost ’90s Brosnan-era Bond film. A few comparisons could be made to the Bourne franchise, but if you were to go that route, this would be The Bourne Lobotomy. Brosnan overacts every chance he gets, erupting into screams when he’s not breathing so heavily that he sounds like he’s having a heart attack. If he wants to keep making these kinds of films, he’ll need to invest in an inhaler, seriously.
If you do wind up seeing the film, just wait for the finale when shit gets real when you’ll be saying, “Ah, hell no,” and wanting to walk out. Unintentional hilarity prevails. For some reason, Relativity had already greenlit a sequel, even while The November Man sat at an astounding 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It has since moved its way up to 33 percent, but considering most people didn’t even know the film is coming out and is bound for horrible word-of-mouth, The November Man makes for one lousy Labor Day weekend release. Just go see Guardians of the Galaxy again (or for the first time), or the 30thanniversary release of Ghostbusters if you want to see something this weekend. As for The November Man, move along people, there’s nothing to see here.
Photos courtesy Relativity Media