Thursday, April 2, 2015

Film Review: The November Man (2014)

The November Man (Review)
United States/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"... solid and gritty action sequences are balanced well against the story..."

In 2008, CIA officer Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) retires after his protégé, David Mason (Luke Bracey), disobeys his order. Five years later, Devereaux is reactivated to extract an undercover agent from Russia...

The November Man packs quite a bit of story into its 105 minute, or so, runtime. The story continues to follow Devereaux in Russia after the mission goes haywire. Devereaux finds himself facing his previous employer, and playing a game of cat-and-mouse with Mason. Meanwhile, Devereaux tries to get to the bottom of his mission. He finds Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko), who is the common denominator across several pursuers. From there, Devereaux and Fournier delve deep into a conspiracy involving Russia and the CIA. I'll leave it at that as it's already a lot to digest. The ending of the film was unsatisfying -- very abrupt and even anticlimactic.

The November Man is a great action flick. It doesn't have big blockbuster set pieces like Skyfall, but it's very exciting and engaging, nonetheless. For one, the story kept me hooked. It doesn't really delve into anything new, but it offers an interesting conspiracy with engaging storytelling. The action consists of many bloody shootouts, a few exciting chase scenes, and a few fistfights. The solid and gritty action sequences are balanced well against the story to create a consistent and, well, balanced film. I didn't think it was a film with many issues, other than the rushed ending -- seriously, it almost felt like they ran out of money and decided to end it any way possible.

Pierce Brosnan is a great leading man, he has strong screen presence. Luke Bracey and Olga Kurylenko are decent. Some of the supporting cast is lacking in emotion, but they get the job done. The film is shot well enough, the music is fairly standard for the genre. The action is well choreographed, at least a few sequences standout. Director Roger Donaldson crafts a by-the-books spy-thriller, but he does it effectively and efficiently. It may not be something groundbreaking or daring, but it is very entertaining and exciting.

Overall, The November Man is a great action film. If you're looking for something with an engaging story and great action scenes, this is worth your time. The ending may be disappointing and there are better action films out there, but that shouldn't sway you from watching The November Man, especially if you have the resources and time. (i.e. Netflix and 105 minutes.)

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some sex and nudity.

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