Pam Powell says 1 out of 4 stars.
"The November Man" is about a former CIA agent brought back into action in order to save a woman. He fights against all odds as well as friend and foe to right the personal wrong that has been done. Whether it's his own kind or the Russians or some other foreign operative, Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) will stop at nothing to save the day.
Does this sound familiar? Perhaps a bit like Kevin Costner in "3 Days to Kill?" Or maybe Jason Statham in "Killer Elite?" Or maybe a bit like Bruce Willis in "Red" or one of The Bourne movies? I could go on and on with similar films because this story-line has been done to death ... pun intended. But what makes "The November Man" different from all of these movies? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
"The November Man" is your typical spy-shoot-'em-up movie with constant impending doom for the hero. The slow-motion blood spurting and bullets firing with the accuracy of Federer's serve (yes, tennis is much more interesting than this film), continue for the entire 108 long, drawn-out minutes of the film. The film drones on with explanations of politicians' and criminals' past as the wearisome audience had to follow along to make sense out of all the characters and their motivations.
By the half-way point in the film, the outcome already is determined, but you still have to remain in your seat, painfully watching as the characters catch up to what you already know.
Brosnan still has it, though. He is still ruggedly handsome and at the age of 61, still can captivate an audience with his blue eyes and decent physique. The film also must have the counterpart to Brosnan, and she is played by the beautiful Olga Kurylenko. She is drop-dead gorgeous and wears the clothes to show it all off. Luke Bracey plays Mason, Devereaux's nemesis, who balances Olga's scenes with his own shower and bare chest scenes.
Let's face it, this isn't Shakespeare. It's a spy movie, complete with the requisite strip club scenes, a bit of sex and use of gorgeous actors whose acting skills are not deemed crucial for the part. If you doze off, no worries as the bad guys wear black and the good guys go for a bit of color here and there which helps you keep everyone in check.
"The November Man" feels as if December and the end would never come. It is a non-stop shooting, chasing via cellphone banter, and slow motion gymnastics while shooting along with lots of blood pouring from legs and mouths kind of movie. We then have the implied sexual assault of young girls just to make "the bad guy" even worse. The fight scenes are cartoonish with Brosnan's character bouncing back from several severe blows to the head and spine, resulting in nary a scratch.
With all the constant killing, you soon become desensitized to the death and horrific bloody explosions. This is a tired story line with missing pieces of information as well as missed opportunities to turn events into something striking or interesting. And the repetitive camera angle panning from the bottom up was so obvious that it pulled my attention to that aspect of movie making versus paying attention to the story.
"The November Man" is a story of international espionage with lots of blood, slow motion shooting and stunts that capitalize on completely outrageous situations. You must be able to suspend all belief to enjoy this film. The characters are all stereotypical and the story line is tired. If you like any depth whatsoever to a film, skip this one. It's repetitive. It's been done before. You've already seen it. The only thing I'd like to compliment is Olga's eye make up. Her eyes looked simply gorgeous. Oh, and the final 2.2 seconds of the film was good.