The November Man - Online Review

'a tired if never entirely boring collection of spy clichés'

A man in dire need of a Netflix series lead if ever there was one, Pierce Brosnan continues his career arc towards endless Bond clones and, erm... Kia car adverts with The November Man, a tired if never entirely boring collection of spy clichés, helmed by Cocktail director, Roger Donaldson.

The plot, which rarely matters, follows Brosnan's retired CIA agent Devereaux in a battle against both the agency, Russia and former pupil Mason (Luke Bracey). It's a mess, but look hard enough and you should just be able to make out that former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko has some importance in the whole thing, whilst Devereaux and Mason trade unconvincingly in points covering respect, right and wrong and spy etiquette.

Look even closer though (not recommended) and the whole thing does fall apart. Quite why Mason doesn't just shoot Devereaux at the start, after the latter has killed all of the former's team, is never explained by anybody, demonstrating the sort of ignorance that allows sub-standard genre offerings like this to function. Late on our hero, Devereaux, grievously injures a completely innocent bystander to make a point to Mason, thus rather putting our sympathies at risk. It constantly feels like a first draft, beset by first draft common sense issues, which should have been ironed out in Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek's adaptation of Bill Granger's novel There Are No Spies (by the by: demonstrably not true).

For Brosnan fans there is an outstanding 'THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T BE LIVING HERE'-esque moment of line delivery ('YOU NEED TO MAKE HIM ANSWER YOUR QUESTION'), but even that is a weak pitch around which to construct a recommendation. For the rest of the film he's on autopilot, to the point where his CIA rebel doesn't even have a US accent. You've seen this film before, with and without the star, and it was bad both times.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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