Pierce Brosnan might be graying at his advanced age, but he still works remarkably well as a charming action star playing a former spy. November Man is no 007, but for a cliché “spy trying to save a woman from a conspiracy while running through the alleys of scenic Europe” it holds up slightly better than most other movies of similar type. I might be horribly biased in saying that because I like Brosnan very much as an actor and it was a joy to see him play a spy again. The movie even has a nice subplot about Brosnan’s former pupil being the point man in trying to catch Brosnan, and their troublesome past (assignment gone wrong and later the death of Brosnan’s loved one by the hand of the pupil) that adds some tasty seasoning to this saucy international spy action thriller.
Olga Kurylenko is an old acquaintance from some awful (Hitman) and some not bad but entirely mediocre movies (Oblivion), and this is the first time she leaves any type of a real, positive impression. Maybe some good acting has finally rubbed on her? In any case, I liked her performance.She got to flex some acting muscles and I liked what I saw. Hopefully this is a beginning of a trend.
The movie doesn’t hold many surprises but it does everything with a competent hand and avoids most of the typical eye roll worthy trappings of the genre by being very honest about what it tries to be: just a decent action movie that doesn’t try to make a world shattering (even if the stake, on a technical level, is big) spectacle of itself. Apparently there is sequel in the works, so this did well enough to warrant one, and I can see this franchise (it is after all based on a book series) to have some legs for one or two more movies, so this is very good news to my ear.