novmanThe Past Is Ever Present
The November Man
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Bill Smitrovich, Will Patton, Amila Terzimehic, Lazar Ristovski, Eliza Taylor and Mediha Musliovic
Director: Roger Donaldson
Scriptwriters: Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek
Composer: Mario Beltrami
Cinematography: Romain Lacourbos
Relativity Media
Rating: R for sexual scenes and language
Running Length: 110 minutes
As James Bond, Pierce Brosnan was dashing, romantic, expert with a gun, fearless, brutal and knew all the tricks of the spy trade. As Peter Devereaux, retired spy, Brosnan is still dashing in a casual way, romantic in that he has a soft spot, still expert with a gun, fearless, brutal, all the tricks of the spy trade---and---shows his age, wrinkles, crinkles and all. In the film, he probably drinks too much, but still is the center of any scene he is in. This is a well-worn man who has seen it all and doesn't like it. “The November Man” comes from a series of spy thrillers by author Bill Granger. If this particular film does well, there may be more with the same character of Peter Devereaux. The man not only has peripheral vision, he has eyes in the back of his head.
“The November Man” refers to a statement made about when Devereaux comes and goes through town, there is nothing left, like November before winter. The story follows Devereaux from retirement by a beautiful lake to rescuing a woman from his past (Mediha Musliovic) to entering the spy game when David (Luke Bracey) Devereaux’s former spy student tries to best the master. Their phone conversations are a delight. Devereaux rescues another woman, Alice (Olga Kurylenko in a form-fitting dress) from the clutches of a Russian politician (Lazar Ristovski) who is accused of war crimes. Hanley (Bill Smitrovich) is Devereaux’s contact in the U.S. government, and so is Perry (Will Patton) and which one is telling the truth there? On the trail of Devereaux and Alice is a Russian female assassin, Alexa (Amila Terzimehic) who has a body made of elastic. Look out, “Plastic Man.”  By the way, Mario Beltrami’s soundtrack is with the action, but not obtrusive, while Romain Lacourbos' cinematography makes travel abroad look inviting. Pluses for spy films.
Scenery helps to make this film, and music, but it is acting that wins out. Pierce Brosnan is Peter Devereaux from slight hesitancies to outright brutal, he changes pace in a second, and the eyes are always in motion. Luke Bracey, as the student who thinks he knows all, gradually finds out that the master didn't teach him everything, such as when you hear a noise in a darkened room, don't turn on the light. Bill Smitrovich, looking like the late actor Don S. Davis (“Stargate SG-1”), is the person to go to for an answer. He never stops talking. Also, most of the women have long hair (even the villainess) and I would think in a fight, that would be something someone could grab.
There are no winners in a spy game, and both sides have casualties and plenty of demolished rooms behind them, not mention the cars. “The November Man” is a fast-paced thriller and with Pierce Brosnan at the helm, it would be interesting to see who the villains would be if another film were made. I say, “Go for it.” There is always a damsel in distress and bad guy out there somewhere.

Copyright 2014 Marie Asner
For another Pierce Brosnan film review, see the following:
Ghost Writer