The November Man (2014)

★★ / 👎

The November Man (2014) poster

The notion of seeing Pierce Brosnan’s charm filtered through a contemporary ruthlessness has a certain appeal—finally, Bond can really go rogue!—but The November Man is as old-fashioned as thrillers get. The Russkies and the CIA are up to their old tricks. Only Brosnan’s character can set things right, by…um, mostly by assaulting or murdering every CIA and FSB officer who gets in his way, while two competent women actually assemble the evidence he needs? Okay, so it’s not entirely a throwback, but I’m not sure The November Man learned the right lessons from the Bourne and Taken franchises it’s so obviously trying to mimic.

There’s a brief feint at a cat and mouse game, with Brosnan’s protégé-turned-antagonist Luke Bracey as the CIA operative with surrogate daddy issues. Thankfully, this plot thread mostly dies out before it turns into a stealth remake of Roger Donaldson’s own The Recruit. (Whatever his merits may be—few are evident from his unconvincing performance in an underwritten role—Luke Bracey is no Colin Farrell.)