The November Man
Time Out says
Pierce Brosnan made no secret of the fact that he was left ‘in shock’ when the James Bond producers dropped him from the role of a lifetime in 2004. He quickly bounced back, securing the rights to author Bill Granger’s ‘November Man’ series of spy thrillers with a plan to kickstart his new franchise in 2006. Well, he’s only eight years late.
Ironically, the character Brosnan plays here – retired-but-deadly CIA operative Peter Devereaux – is a lot closer to Daniel Craig’s surly, angst-ridden Bond than to Brosnan’s own laidback take on the character. But that’s where the similarities end. In contrast to the flashy, action-heavy fantasies of recent 007 adventures, ’November Man’ is dour, small-scale and determinedly real-world, with a Chechen War-inspired plotline playing on real conspiracy theories about the rise of Vladimir Putin.
Brosnan is the best thing here, as watchable as ever despite being lumbered with self-conscious killer-with-issues characterisation. But elsewhere the film falls flat: old-timer Roger Donaldson’s direction is workmanlike, and while the script does pile on neat twists, it ultimately boils down to a tired game of who’s-betraying-who. The spy who bored me.
Cast and crew