Skip to main content

New Trailer For Ready Player One

The November Man Review: Retired Bond Makes Divisive Action Flick

Summer 2014 ends with the divisive The November Man.
The was a time in American cinema when audiences would pay to see almost anything starring an action hero. But in recent years, we've undergone a sea change in our expectations; our movie tastes have evolved from the simple 2-Buck-Chuck to a smoother Cabernet, leaving those rather mindless 80's pieces behind in place of something deeper and more gritty. Certainly the performance of The Expendables 3, Need for Speed, and a half-dozen 2013 action/spy/thriller flicks have shown Hollywood how evolved/fickle American audiences can be. As Summer 2014 comes to a close, we have one more chance to see this theory play out in the enjoyable but divisive The November Man.

Former CIA operative Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) has tried to put that part of his life away, favoring the quiet life instead of bullets, explosions, and tough choices at the end of a barrel. His protégée Mason (Luke Bracey) has carried on the good work, but it's come at a great cost to Devereaux. Soon, he is forced back into action on a very personal mission when the deal goes bad. Now on the run and with limited options, Devereaux runs into Mason, who's searching for a Russian aid worker (Olga Kurylenko) with information that could blow Russia's upcoming election apart. As master and student play a deadly game of chicken, both learn of a deep cover-up within the CIA that could involve Devereaux's old boss (Bill Smithrovich) or his new one (Will Patton)...or maybe both. Will the two spies join forces one more time to make things right, or will their hatred for one another lead to a bloody conclusion?

Veteran Director Roger Donaldson (White Sands, Thirteen Days) paints pretty pictures - some wrapped in dreamy backgrounds surrounded by gritty poses - but never quite gets to the heart of the matter. There's plenty to fuel our leads, but the editing comes away uneven, portraying Devereaux as almost bi-polar, worried about collateral damage in one scene and then willing to be unnecessarily cold-blooded to prove a point in the very next one. Moreover, we never learn why he chooses a personal life that he previously admonishes so much to Mason. None of our supporting cast comes away especially memorable, and some including Smitrovich even seem to experience conflicting character growth by the third act, with Handley suddenly replacing another character who clearly seemed in charge, and with only a "He's been replaced" explanation. Another major character's future is certainly in doubt by the time the credits roll, but we're never privy to what that actually is.

And yet, I found myself willing to look past these problems and enjoy the film for what it was. Brosnan and Bracey have good chemistry, chewing up good one-liners from the writing team of Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek, who adopted Novelist Bill Granger's seventh novel about the titular hero. The action is steady and impacting in parts, while Composer Marco Beltrami's score keeps the tension going during several slower parts. There are two twists here that might surprise you, depending on how willing you were to check your expectations at the door. If you do, they'll come off nicely and keep you awake though a lot of exposition and typical bad guy stereotypes.

The November Man is a fitting end to one of the dullest Augusts in recent film memory. Two kinds of people will no doubt emerge from the theater: those who enjoyed its high-flying style, good performances from Brosnan and Bracey, and its twist-twist ending. The other will decry the ripped-off plot, fairly dull action, and failure to achieve closure on most of its leads. But for the most part, hasn't such division defined Summer 2014 in general? Either way, I encourage you to check expectations at the door, for your experience will no doubt be improved.

The November Man is rated R for strong violence including sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use and has a runtime of 108 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See THE SHAPE OF WATER In Cleveland #TheShapeofWater

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See THE SHAPE OF WATER on December 11th at 7:00 PM in Cleveland.

From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes THE SHAPE OF WATER - an other-worldly fable, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones.



CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

Visit The Shape Of Water on our WEBSITE: https://theshapeofwaterthemovie.com
Like The Shape Of Water on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/theshapeofwa...
Follow The Shape Of Water on TWITTER: https://twitter.com/shapeofwater
#TheShapeofWater

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

SEATING IS LIMITED, SO ARRIVE EARLY.

PASS DOES NOT GUARANTEE A SEAT AT THE SCREENING.

This screening w…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See THE GREATEST SHOWMAN In Las Vegas

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See THE GREATEST SHOWMAN on December 10th at 10:00 AM in Las Vegas.

At this screening guests will enjoy free popcorn and soda, free face painting, and a free photo booth themed to the movie.

The Greatest Showman” is a bold and original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and the sense of wonder we feel when dreams come to life. Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman” tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

“The Greatest Showman” is directed by exciting new filmmaker, Michael Gracey, with songs by Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”) and starring Academy Award nominee Hugh Jackman. Jackman is joined by Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams, Zendaya, Zac Efron and Rebecca Ferguson.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

https://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-greatest-showman
@GreatestShowman
#GreatestShowma…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DOWNSIZING In Las Vegas

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DOWNSIZING on December 19th at 7:00 PM in Las Vegas.

DOWNSIZING imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.



CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

DOWNSIZING is in theaters December 22

DOWNSIZING Official Channels
Hashtag: #Downsizing
Facebook: /DownsizingFilm
Twitter: @DownsizingFilm
Instagram: @DownsizingFilm
Website: DownsizingMovie.com

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

SEATING IS LIMITED, SO ARRIVE EARLY.

PASS DOES NOT GUARANTEE A SEAT AT THE SCREENING.

This screening will be monitored…