Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The November Man

Five years after retiring, ex-CIA specialist Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is reactivated by his old boss (Bill Smitrovich) and put on a plane to Russia to retrieve the love of his life (Mediha Musliovic) who has been working undercover in the Russian Government for more than a decade. Things go terribly wrong pitting Devereaux against his old agency and his protege (Luke Bracey) in a conspiracy that reaches into both the U.S. and Russian Governments involving the Presidential hopes of a genocidal Russian general (Lazar Ristovski).

Based on Bill Granger's novel, The November Man isn't a bad B-movie action flick but it is a tad too convoluted for its own good. The reasoning behind putting Devereaux in the field is sketchy at best, particularly after the villain is revealed. Brosnan can play the aging spy in his sleep and Olga Kurylenko makes the most out of the over-complicated Alice who holds the key to the entire sordid affair.

At best The November Man is a mixed bag. Given how much Devereaux puts down his protege Mason (Bracey) comes off looking inept most of the film. The scene involving Devereaux torturing Mason's neighbor (Eliza Taylor), possibly to show his reluctance to kill his former pupil but still show his superiority, is simply bizarre. Both of the late twists involving Devereaux's daughter and the true identity of Kurylenko's character muddy the waters a bit too much as well. Despite these issues the movie is marginally diverting as a throwaway spy/action thriller.

Available on both Blu-ray and DVD, extras include short featurettes on the city of Belgrade, the making of the movie, and its star. Also included are the film's trailer and commentary from Brosnan, director Roger Donaldson, and producer Beau St. Clair.

[20th Century Fox, Blu-ray $39.99 / DVD $29.98]

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