Review: 'November Man' is low quality with a high body count
Pierce Brosnan's perfect hair barely budges in the breeze, he fixes his eyes in that narrowed, steely stare and you remember, yes, he was a pretty good James Bond.
But he's not Bond, not at 61. He's this fellow named Devereaux, and back in the day, when he showed up for an assignment, it was like winter had hit. Everything was dead. That's why they called Devereaux “The November Man.”
Here's a humorless, muddled, bloody and generally unpleasant thriller about an ex-agent sucked back into The Business because somebody needs his help. Or somebody knows something. Or some protege has gone stone-cold killer.
That's one of the problems with this Roger Donaldson film. It leaves us with no clear sense of who to root for, or what. Is the CIA out to get Devereaux and his lady friend? The Russians? Some rogue amalgam of the two?
About all we're sure of is the body count, built on bullets and sharp, bloody blades, piles up — first scene to last.
Devereaux trained Mason, played by Luke Bracey of the last “G.I. Joe” movie. They're fellow agents, experts on “threat analysis” and how to put a bullet in that threat. Years later, Devereaux is summoned by the old boss (Bill Smitrovich) to fetch a woman out of Russia, an agent who has “a name.” That name could be the downfall of Russia's next leader.
Things go haywire in fetching the woman (Olga Kurylenko) — and in the movie. Mason is after him. Spirited chases through Moscow, guns blazing and tires screeching, give one a whole new appreciation for the place.
Eventually, teacher, pupil and quarry and CIA hunters (Will Patton, Caterina Scorsone) and a Russian pony-tailed ballerina-turned-assassin (Amila Terzimehic) all wind up in Belgrade, which apparently is where the money men and women decided was the cheapest place to film this movie.
This late-August cast-off is what one can easily spy as a “producers-on-the-make” movie. It has the obligatory strip-club scene, with lithe and willing nude dancers. It has a spirited, nude sex scene. And, in every shot, indoors or out, we see the best-looking extras this side of “America's Next Top Model.”
Those elements don't do anything for the plot, the action or anything else. But they have a leering “value” to some in the audience and, more likely, in the production office.
Through it all, Brosnan keeps his cool and delivers his lines as an older, if not over-the-hill, Bond-“type.”
But a few pithy lines, seriously stunt-doubled fights and the odd blast of blood don't give the story clarity or the characters a compelling reason for us to engage in their dilemma.
Roger Moore reviews movies for McClatchy News Service.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Review: Latest ‘M:I’ Cruises by on top talent
- Review: ‘Testament’ a tribute to the war within
- Review: ‘Infinitely Polar Bear’ actually has a warm heart
- Review: ‘Farley’ never quite gets comfortable with itself
- Review: ‘LEGO Brickumentary’ documents building of an empire
- DVD reviews: ‘The Water Diviner,’ ‘Home’ and ‘White God’
- Review: ‘Vacation’ is a funny homage to its predecessor