HOLLYWOOD—I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw Pierce Brosnan on the big screen. It seems like years. The actor returned to his spy roots in the action-thriller “The November Man” this past week. I know what many of you are thinking, is this Brosnan taking on the role of a super spy in a different movie? Not quite, but the audience will get the perception that it’s what the screenwriter and director was aiming for.
The actor tackles the role of Peter Devereaux, an ex-CIA agent who finds himself back in the mix helping to protect social worker Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko) who has vital information about a witness that is highly sought out. The one difference between Brosnan in this role compared to his James Bond counterpart is there is a bit more ruggedness to this character. His is not as polished as the Brit that he portrayed in several of the Bond films; there is an edge to Peter which makes him quite likable in my opinion.
The interesting tad bit in the plot, is that Peter finds himself going toe-to-toe with David (Luke Bracey) who he trained personally. While he may be known as ‘The November Man,” his former colleague knows all of his tricks which makes him a formidable foe to say the least. Watching the movie gave me the perception that I was watching an intelligent spy movie, but I kept feeling at any given moment that James Bond would explode on the screen and that is not the case.
That could be a direct result of how the movie is marketed to audiences. It does present the feeling that Brosnan is returning to his roots: the fight sequences, the gun power, the epic explosions, all give an indication that Bond is back, but he is not. No way, no shape, no form. If you enter the movie with the perception that you’re getting James Bond you will be greatly disappointed.
However, if you enter the theater with an open-mind, as a viewer “The November Man” is quite enthralling. The use of high-gadget treachery is MIA, but the realistic fight sequences prove to exceed some of the over the top stunts that has cast a dark light on Brosnan as an actor. It’s unfortunate that we only see him in that role as James Bond. He’s been type cast as an actor, and it’s unfortunate for an actor who can offer so much more to audiences “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Thomas Crown Affair” anyone?
“The November Man” is a fun spy thriller; is it something completely original no, does it have intrigue most definitely. The one problem that lingers is Brosnan’s inability to escape the charisma and charm of the debonair super spy that audiences have come to love him as. He attempts to shake off that character, which makes the audience desire him that much more.