‘The November Man’: Plot holes riddle generic spy thriller
A movie review of “The November Man”: Illogic reigns in this generic spy thriller in which Pierce Brosnan gets back into spy-guy mode. It received two stars on a scale of four.
Special to The Seattle Times
Movie Review ★★
‘The November Man,’ with Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Bill Smitrovich. Directed by Roger Donaldson, from a screenplay by Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek. 108 minutes. Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use. Several theaters.
Illogic reigns in the spy thriller “The November Man.”
Early on, two spy guys — a steely-eyed former CIA agent (Pierce Brosnan) and a hotshot young assassin (Luke Bracey) who was once the protégé of Old Steel Eyes — engage in a massive gunbattle in the heart of Moscow. Corpses to the left of them, corpses to the right of them. Then comes the moment when they’re face to face, gun muzzle to gun muzzle. Their eyes narrow, then widen. Then they lower their weapons, turn their backs on each other and ... walk away.
Did I mention this is all happening in the heart of Moscow. Cops? Nowhere in sight.
Brosnan’s character casually hails a cab and ... leaves.
Not long after, the young killer’s handler back at headquarters lets the kid know he’s none too pleased with the lad’s handling of the situation. So what does he do? Why, he sends the dude back out to go gunning once more for the man he let get away.
And so it goes in “November Man,” where plot holes yawn and, as scenes lacking logic stack up, you may find you’re fighting the urge to yawn yourself.
Directed by Roger Donaldson, “November Man” is a movie that puts the generic into the spy genre. Double-crosses? Check. People peering intently into computer screens? Check. A woman of mystery? Check. (Olga Kurylenko fills that particular box on the checklist). Gratuitous sex scene? Check. Exotic location? Umm. Does Belgrade count?
Once upon a time (it was 1987), Donaldson made a really superior spy picture. It’s called “No Way Out,” and you should really check it out. Once upon a time, Brosnan played James Bond. He did a good job in those movies, especially “GoldenEye.” You should check it out.
He does a decent job in “November Man,” lending gravitas to the nonsense. But really, he and Donaldson are just going through the motions — motions that we’ve seen oh so many times before.
Soren Andersen: firstname.lastname@example.org