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Director: Roger Donaldson
Writers: Michael Finch and Karl Gadjusek
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Eliza Taylor, Bill Smitrovich, Will Patton
Studio: Relativity

“The November Man” plays like Pierce Brosnan saw “Jack Reacher” and decided to make a European set clone. Sure, the Devereaux books have their following and this is actually an adaptation of the seventh book in the series. That being said, I have mixed feelings on what I saw. Sure, the action and espionage was spot-on with clever editing and direction. It’s just that this movie feels like the sheer glut of spy fiction that used to cram basic and premium cable when I was a kid. Hell, Brosnan used to star in a few of those for the USA Network. Does anyone here remember “Death Train” also known as “Detonator”?

Pierce Brosnan knows how to play old action and he does well at it. You believe that he’s an old hired hand that knows how to extract people from Russia. You almost expect to see Judi Dench’s blind ass come in on a scene and stumble about while shouting at him. Too soon? Another Bond holdover in the form of Olga Kurylenko doesn’t get much to do, but she looks good doing it. Then, there’s the mentor vs. protege schtick that goes on too long. Why can’t more of those storylines end like the original “Mechanic”?

Spy movies work when you feel that the stakes are well-defined and you buy into the need. Everything else turns into the film equivalent of a prolonged Cold War novel. I don’t want to know about feelings, going to sleep after you murder someone or silencing people. I want to see humor, a bit of a carnage and a sense of men being men. Sure, there are female assassins and spies. We need vehicles for them. I just don’t watch to watch older spies wax on about mortality. That’s not my bag.


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