As The November Man Pierce Brosnan “kills” in this post Cold War spy film where action replaces smooth moves and sterling wit. At 61, The former Bond and Remington Steele actor may have been deemed too long in the tooth to play 007, but the Brit performer shows he still has what it takes in the action man arena.
Brosnan plays Peter Devereaux, aka The November Man, so named because earlier in his CIA career “after he passed through, nothing was left alive.” At the start of the film Devereaux is working with his protégé David Mason (played by Luke Bracey – G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Monte Carlo) and they are trying to protect the American Ambassador from an assassination attempt.
Peter takes the ambassador’s coat and set’s himself up as the target while Mason watches from a vantage point with a sniper rifle. When the assassin makes his move and shoots Devereaux, Peter sees a small child in the line of David’s fire and tells him to pull the shot.
Mason ignores this as he fears his mentor is going to be shot dead and as a result kills the assassin and the small boy. Years later, Devereaux is retired and his old handler brings him in on a special case, the mother of Peter’s child and his lover is in Russia and her cover is about to be blown.
Devereaux takes the job of collecting his partner from the Kremlin and when he picks her up, the head of the CIA Weinstein orders her killed. The man who pulls the trigger on the hit is David Mason. Peter kills the entire CIA hit team except for his former protégé .
Before long “The November Man” kills his way to protecting the contact and informer whose name was given to him by his dying partner, Alice Fournier (played by Olga Kurylenko – Hitman, Quantum of Solace) and it soon becomes a deadly game of wits between Mason, Fournier, the CIA, a Russian assassin and the traitorous head of the U.S. spy organization.
Written by Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek, adapted from Bill Granger’s novel There Are No Spies and directed by Roger Donaldson (The Recruit, Species) The November Man moves at a cracking pace. At no time does this thriller/spy/action movie drag or disappoint.
Brosnan as the retired CIA man relies upon his years of experience, guile and ability to stay one step ahead of his opponents to keep himself and Alice alive for as long as possible. As the film progresses, it becomes more difficult to know who is behind everything and who to root for, apart from Devereaux.
Brosnan proves beyond as shadow of a doubt that his acting and action chops are not older they are superb and still able to rule a scene. Luke Bracey is spot on as Mason the protégé who sees his old mentor as a father figure. The younger actor carries himself well as the sometimes conflicted killing machine.
Olga Kurylenko proves yet again that she is much more than just a pretty face and leaves her modeling roots well and truly behind her. Will Patton is perfect as the slimy and cold CIA boss Weinstein. Patton is playing against type here and he does an excellent job.
Kudos go to Bill Smitrovich as Hanley the former handler of Devereaux, Amelia Terzmehic as Alexa the terrifying Russian assassin, Caterina Scorsone as Operative Celia aka “Tits” and Lazar Ristovski as the evil Arkady Federov.
The cinematography is spot on, at no point is the audience taken out of the action by a badly placed or framed shot. The sets are stunning as are the choreographed action and fight scenes. Everything works on this film at the highest possible level.
Pierce Brosnan in The November Man just “kills” it, pun intended. This may well be the best spy/action/thriller film out this year, do not miss it. Open in cinemas countrywide on August 27, buy some popcorn and prepare to cheer at the superior action and plot.
By Michael Smith
Regal Red Rock Stadium 16 & IMAX