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The November Man has many layers and, as with most spy films, nothing is quite as it seems. Pierce Brosnan is still formidable as an action hero and fans will delight in seeing the former James Bond as CIA agent, Devereaux. Living up to the genre, The November Man is packed with suspense, sex, deceit, great fight scenes, action and some quotable one-liners.

Strange circumstances bring former CIA agent, Devereaux, into Russia to extract an undercover agent before she is made. The agent was working as aid to Presidential Candidate Arkady Federov, a man with a secret he’s determined to keep by killing anyone who might remember it. During their escape, Devereaux takes down his pursuers, assuming they are Federov’s men, only pausing when he recognizes a young CIA agent he trained years earlier, Mason. Confused as to why the CIA would foil their own mission, and now a wanted man, Devereaux is in a race with Russia and the CIA to find the only remaining witness to Federov’s secret.

Devereaux has a secret of his own, and the CIA gives Mason this information, along with orders to go after the man he once admired. Fueled by hurt with this new knowledge, Mason follows orders and soon Devereaux and Mason are locked in a deadly game of cat and mouse. While keeping Mason at bay, Devereaux uses his seasoned skills to gain access to information on a lead, a case worker named Alice. It becomes obvious that Alice is a popular woman, with a New York Times journalist, the CIA, and a Russian assassin after her and any information she might have on the witness to Federov’s secret.

The November Man proves to be a rollercoaster of a ride, with an overarching storyline bringing all of the smaller plot lines together. While we have a good sense of Devereaux and his past, I wish there had been more character development of the younger agent, Mason. There are hints to Mason’s past, but not a lot of definition to make his relationship with Devereaux, or his sense of betrayal, feel genuine.

 

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About The November Man

Synopsis:  Pierce Brosnan has still got it. The former James Bond plays a reinstated CIA agent, Devereaux, on a mission to save an undercover agent before she’s made by the Russian government. Things take a sudden twist after Devereaux comes face to face with his pursuers and recognizes the young CIA agent, Mason, that he helped train. As with most spy movies, nothing is quite as it seems and soon Devereaux and Mason are locked in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Director: Roger Donaldson

Writers: Michael Finch, Karl Gajdusek, based on Bill Granger’s “There Are No Spies”

Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko

Rated: R

Runtime: 108 minutes