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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Brosnan gets lost in plot holes of ‘The November Man’


    When I see a movie to review, I don’t take notes. That’s not me being a braggart. I just find I can better form my thoughts as the movie plays in front of me. “The November Man,” however, made me reevaluate this reviewing strategy. There are so many things wrong with this spy flick, it’s easy to lose track of them all.

    Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) has retired from his heyday as a CIA agent. He’s pulled out of his peaceful life when old colleague John Hanley (Bill Smitrovich) convinces Devereaux to go retrieve Natalia (Mediha Musliovic). She not only has dirt on Russian presidential hopeful Arkady Federov (Lazar Ristovski), but she also has a history with Devereaux. Things go awry, and Devereaux becomes the CIA’s new target.

    So here’s the first preposterous thing that happens: On her phone, Natalia has incriminating pictures of Federov. Since they’re in Eastern Europe, it’s — unsurprisingly — a sex crime. She needs to get them out of Russia and into the hands of the CIA. Mind you, it’s the pictures that are important, not the phone. She acts, however, like she needs to get the phone away from the bad guys, as if that’s the only way to move photos.

    The CIA should take a page out of Hollywood’s A-list playbook on how to upload photos into a cloud storage system.

    Apparently, there’s just no tech training at the CIA, because this isn’t the only idiotic instance on the part of America’s elite operatives. Hanley is walked in on as he’s caught looking at sensitive content, and he wants to destroy it as soon as possible.

    So, he shoots the computer. He plugs in three rounds before he’s taken down. Of course, as we’re later told, the bullets all missed the hard drive.

    One must always suspend belief to an extent when watching a movie. However, these plot holes were just too stupid.

    It turns out that reporter Edgar Simpson (Patrick Kennedy) just so happens to have a hunch about Federov. He seeks out Mila Filapova, a war refugee who might be able to spill the beans on the shady politician. He seeks out Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko), Filapova’s social worker, to help him locate her.

    When done right, interweaving characters and motivations create a delicious, labyrinthine clockwork of moving parts. When done wrong, they all coalesce into an uninterpretable mess.

    Brosnan and Kurylenko are by far the best aspects this movie has going for it; they’re not amateurs at the spy game. Brosnan, of course, was James Bond before Daniel Craig took over, and Kurylenko co-starred alongside Craig in “Quantum of Solace.” Brosnan hasn’t lost a step. He’s still charismatic and is a great leading man.

    We aren’t told why Devereaux is nicknamed “The November Man” until about five minutes are left in the film, which is about an hour after anything stopped mattering. For all the movie cared, “The November Man” could have been revealed to be the long-lost twin brother of retired professional baseball player Reggie Jackson, Mr. October.

    Grade: D

    —Follow Alex Guyton @GuyTonAlexAnder

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