Under the Radar

Old Guys With Guns, Again

November Man

Pierce Brosnan went out and secured the rights to Bill Granger's Peter Devereaux spy novels and he's attempted to launch a new movie franchise for himself with The November Man (out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD). You know the drill: Devereaux's an aging CIA agent who's called the November man because everything's dead after he comes to call. He wants out of the game but they pull him back in to extract his (secret) wife from a Russian mission gone wrong.

The wife dies, Brosnan kills everyone in sight and sets out to complete the mission to honor his wife's memory. Like most of these old guy action pictures, there's a hot young foil (played by Luke Bracey, recently hidden behind a mask as the Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: Retaliation) who has issues with the old man. Of course, the old man's right about everything and the young guy's hotheaded behavior almost gets everyone killed. There's also a hot refugee, played by Olga Kurylenko (who was the best thing about Quantum of Solace), who holds the key to bringing down the Russian oligarch/political leader.

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Roger Donaldson previously directed the 1987 spy classic No Way Out and pulls a bit of a trick here: a much older (and bewigged) Will Patton shows up as a CIA supervisor and he plays the part pretty much the way he played his role in No Way Out. That might lead No Way Out fans to reach some early conclusions about what's going on here, expectations that won't necessarily be met.

Brosnan's character is more brutal than sly and he's having fun being less charming here. Is it a great spy movie? No. Do I want my two hours back? No, again. Will I see the next one? Sure. Here's the deal: it's fine, a lot like 3 Days to Kill was a fine old man vehicle for Kevin Costner, but sometimes fine is just what you want.

(For an assessment from a writer with a more demanding eye for this kind of stuff, check out my Military.com colleague Ho Lin's review over at his Camera Roll blog.)

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