Saturday, September 13, 2014

The November Man - Review

Former CIA agent Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is called in by his ex-chief to help extract an agent/former lover of his from the inner circle of Russia. Before she can deliver the incriminating evidence of a major president candidate's dirty past, she is killed by her fellow CIA operatives, which causes Peter to go on an answering-seeking killing spree, much to the chagrin of his former protege (Luke Bracey). Helmed by resident B-movie director Roger Donaldson, the movie has a generic yet basically slick presentation, with many clearly thought out action and suspense sequences. The only time he truly stumbles is the ill-fitting coda, which is a total slapdash job and an ugly note to end on. However, the true ugliness of the picture is the script's rampant misogyny. All of the female characters, except for a terrible third-party assassin, are treated to some form of hostile action, whether it is abuse, rape, or being a hostage/"woman in refrigerator". They also are all shown to be bumbling, bad at their job, and/or need a man in their life to have and to hold their hand. This is very egregious to tolerate, especially since Olga Kurylenko is given the female lead role yet is forced to act far weaker and stupider than she actually is. Need further proof? There's a recurring female CIA agent whose name will escape you because she is constantly referred to solely as "Tits". Even if you drop your morals enough to tolerate this behavior, you're still left with just another Bourne clone, that also features the second most overused action movie twist behind "The Joker's Jail Plan". The film's only redeeming element is obviously Brosnan, who gets to play an old and wry spin of his James Bond persona but also is given the opportunity to show off the really vicious side of being a spy. But again, nothing will truly be gained from watching this throwaway actioner.


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