NOVEMBER MAN DVD (2014)
SYNOPSIS: Code named 'The November Man'; Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is an extremely dangerous and highly trained ex-CIA agent, who is lured out of quiet retirement on a very personal mission. He must protect valuable witness, Alice Fournier, (Olga Kurylenko) who could expose the truth behind a decades old conspiracy. He soon discovers this assignment makes him a target of his former friend and CIA protégé David Mason (Luke Bracey). With growing suspicions of a mole in the agency, there is no one Devereaux can trust, no rules and no holds barred.
Roger Donaldson reunites with his Dante’s Peak leading man Pierce Brosnan in this spy thriller produced by Brosnan’s outfit, Irish DreamTime.
Not meant to be an insult to Bill Granger’s original material, The November Man fares like a poor man’s Jason Bourne and James Bond. Perhaps the fault lies in the screenplay by Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek. It’s all predictable espionage and dare I say, a boring and incomprehensible spy thriller.
After a mission with his protégé, David Manson (Luke Bracey) went awry, veteran CIA agent Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) retires to civilian life until an ex-colleague persuade him to come out for one last job - to extricate an agent, Natalia out of Russia as soon as possible. Conveniently later on, we leant that Natalia is actually Peter’s lover and she is in fact holding on to crucial, shady information related to Russia’s upcoming new President, Arkady Federov.
Just when you thought you have the plot all sorted out, Finch and Gajdusek decides to make it more convoluted as we went along. A refugee caseworker, Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko) is introduced and her character might have contact with a girl Mira who possessed strong evidence against Federov. But hold your horses, the CIA might be in cahoots with Federov after all and what’s up with all that mentor and protégé relationship again?
The November Man attempts on many levels to repeatedly play the double-crossing, old-fashioned spy drama card unfortunately the material is too insipid to generate much interest or even attention. Subplots and characters are introduced by the minute though most of the loose ends are never properly addressed. To Donaldson’s credit, the Australian did his best to arrange for a few decent action sequences that include gunshots, footchase and a single car explosion given the limited budget on hand.
“Catch it”, “Rent it” or “Skip It”? We suggest the first choice purely for old times sake. Brosnan was very much a genuinely charming James Bond in the past.
The DVD transfer is pretty impressive with solid colours and details. The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio quality is a tad letdown given the occasional sonic sound effects.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee