A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Wake me up when November ends [Review]

Photo courtesy of blackfilm.com
David Mason (Bracey) looks on as Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) taunts him in the newly released “The November Man.”



Retired CIA agent Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is pulled in for one last job that predictably goes horribly wrong, ultimately forcing him to run for his life from the CIA.“The November Man” tries to be a grittier modern spy thriller like the Bourne series or the more recent Bond films, but also attempts to play off Brosnan’s work as a past Bond. It makes him feel weirdly out of place, creating a soulless ride.

Leading the hunt for Devereaux is his former protégé David Mason (Luke Bracey), who has a chip on his shoulder about proving he is a better spy than his old trainer. Watching Devereaux and Mason try to out-man each other is just dull.

Soon, social worker Alice Fournier (former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko) finds herself embroiled in an action-filled chain of events as she is hunted by an assassin and the CIA; naturally, she comes under Devereaux’s protection. The film hits every spy cliché made.

Director Roger Donaldson also directed such ’90s classics like “Species,” a movie following a weird alien having silly random sex, and “Dante’s Peak,” a film in which Pierce Brosnan fights a volcano. At least these two could be enjoyed for their silliness, while “The November Man” falls flat.

The first half of the film feels  aimless, leaving it unclear who the protagonist and antagonist even are. It is difficult to figure out how the director wants you to feel about the characters because they are written so unevenly. One minute a character is  a nice guy, and the next he is a jerk. The filmmakers attempt to create a feeling of ambiguity about the characters, but the scenes are so jarring that they take you out of the film.

The story is no better. Characters and subplots are introduced and then dropped without any development. There is a reporter who pops up at random points of the movie and ultimately does nothing. The last scene ends so abruptly that it takes a while to register that the credits are already rolling.

The action scenes are poorly shot, containing random moments of slow motion that don’t add up to anything. There is not one, but two different scenes of a car exploding in poorly-executed slow motion. The first scene has Brosnan and Bracey walking away from it without even noticing, and it’s just as ridiculous watching as it is reading about it. The scene is like something out of a parody, except played completely straight.

The acting is weak. Most of the lines are half-screamed by the actors. The majority of characters come off more annoyed than angry. All the actors whine loudly and just sound fake-mad. However, given how forced and silly the dialogue is, it would be hard to get a good performance out of the actors.

“The November Man” may not be entirely painful to watch, but it is completely forgettable.

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Sean Curzon, Staff Writer

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