'The November Man' is nothing more than a dumb thriller, roll on the fall.
The November Man? Pfffft - Roger Donaldson's latest movie deserves to be nowhere near the penultimate month of the year, packed full of Oscar-bait and genuine quality. No, this formulaic thriller starring Pierce Brosnan as a highly trained ex-CIA agent is perfectly placed. Back end of August. Summer blockbusters are done and dusted, now we're just waiting for the fall.
Pierce Brosnan [L] as 'The November Man'
Brosnan's Devereaux is a lethal man enjoying the quiet in Switzerland but when he's lured out of retirement for one last mission, he must protect valuable witness Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko). Devereaux soon uncovers that the assignment marks him as a target for his former friend and protégé David Mason and with growing suspicion of a mole in the agency, he can trust nobody.
"The November Man is one of those thrillers that grows progressively more incoherent, and it simply isn't fast enough to glide over its gaping narrative holes," said Liam Lacey of Globe and Mail.
"The November Man" turns out to be the classic August movie: a triumph of competence over imagination and schlock over taste. Its highest value lies in reminding filmgoers that fall can't come too soon," said Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post.
Pierce Brosnan doing things that a November Man would do
"Not even old pros Roger Donaldson, who directed "The Bank Job" and "No Way Out," or Pierce Brosnan, who has played many weary spies and killers, can pull this movie out of its self-dug hole," wrote Lawrence Toppman of the Charlotte Observer.
J.R Jones of the Chicago Reader liked it. "Director Roger Donaldson has had his ups and downs over the past few years; the script for this lodges somewhere in the middle, though he compensates for its lack of distinction through sheer velocity and nimble negotiation of its hairpin turns," he wrote.
Billed as "the ultimate cat and mouse game set in the world international espionage", The November Man - which makes almost no sense as a title - is based on Bill Granger's novel 'There Are No Spies'.