Ben Oliver

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The November Man

Know what we used to call you Peter? The November Man. Cause after you passed through, nothing lived. You were one bleak motherfucker my friend.
22 January 2015

Pierce Brosnan stars as a spy pulled out of retirement in order to help bring in an undercover agent who claims to have information of critical importance. Things go awry.

The November Man is a series of clichés, one after the other, held together by average action scenes and a very weak, dull, plot. The double crossing, the ‘spies with a past’, the conspiracies, the former Eastern European soldiers who did bad things to young girls who now want vengeance, the unnecessarily complex plot… It’s tired old material. This can be great when done well, but the film is so average in all its endeavours one can only groan.

It’s nice to see Pierce Brosnan running with a gun, he’s cool, and they decided not to make him a womaniser but a father; perhaps the only original aspect of the whole production. Ironically enough it’s part of the problem - the producers likely used this as justification to make the film.

The dialogue in particular is sloppy. It’s no surprise though, the script was written by an algorithm that simply pulls from other scripts of its ilk. Clever, and a great way to save money on writers.

The ending made me angry when it dawned on me that I’d had my time wasted. I love spy thrillers but bland dross like this is why few get made - YOU CAN DO BETTER, HOLLYWOOD.

I’m being harsh; It’s not a painfully bad film, just mediocre. This is what happens when you think making a good action/thriller/spy film involves nothing more than getting James Bond out of retirement and having him be in Europe. It’s actually a really hard genre to get right!

Any moments of intrigue or suspense are quickly quashed (there seems to be a trend of films starting really well and going nowhere of late…). The November Man fades into the annals of film history even as you watch it.