Almost like a unicorn, the Wednesday night release is a rare and mystical animal that we just don't get to see every d--- day. "The November Man" brings a tried and true action star back to familiar territory that certainly doesn't set the world on fire but it gets the job done in a serviceable and efficient manner.
Peter Deveraux (Pierce Brosnan) is a highly trained ex-CIA operative who is just happy to be enjoying his retirement. However, all that changes when he is lured out of retirement for one last mission to protect Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko) a witness who could be the key to unlocking a decades old conspiracy. But things go wrong, and he quickly becomes the hunted as his old protégé and former friend David Mason (Luke Bracey) is tasked with bringing him down. The more he tugs at the thread of conspiracy, the more he wonders who among his old friends and colleagues he can actually trust.
While it is hardly something that will ever be mistaken for a genre changing classic, "The November Man" hits all the right spots for the genre and it makes for an entertaining, yet somewhat forgettable trip to the movies.
Director Roger Donaldson has a track record for making some rather solid but mostly unremarkable movies and he continues that streak here with "The November Man" nothing that happens is particularly memorable from beginning to end, but the action sequences are solid and the narrative never drags. He shoots it all well enough and the script that was adapted from the Bill Granger book called There Are No Spies, is solid as it isn't obviously trying to ape or rip off any other movies that came before it and is anchored by some decent performances.
Pierce Brosnan will be stuck with the spectre of James Bond hanging over his head for the rest of his career, but too his credit he always veers away from making these action movie characters too Bond-esque and he can carry a movie with ease as we buy into his retired spy drawn back into one last mission. No one can argue that Olga Kurylenko is a stunning beauty and makes for a quality leading lady opposite Brosnan, but with every movie she does she is improving her chops and getting better as an actress as she carries the bulk of the emotional weight with a fair bit of ease. Luke Bracey is a bit of a dud as the old pupil going up against his former student, but he has a square jaw and looks good on screen which sometimes is just enough and all that is genuinely needed.
When all is said and done, there really isn't anything wrong with "The November Man" and it is a decent piece of cinematic entertainment to spend an afternoon or an evening to. However it won't inspire a ton of conversation on the ride home either.
3 out of 5 stars.
"The November Man" is now playing at theatres all across the country. Please check with local listings for show times.