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'The November Man' brings an end to summer

9/2/2014

"The November Man" has a great title, a passable concept that drips with popcorn movie potential and the right man in the leading role to tie it all up.

"The November Man" has a great title, a passable concept that drips with popcorn movie potential and the right man in the leading role to tie it all up.

The first third of the movie and the second half of the final third really are pretty enjoyable. Pierce Brosnan is the perfect choice to fill the role of a former CIA black-ops agent who has to come out of retirement to hunt one of his proteges, played by Luke Bracey. People mainly know Brosnan for his role as James Bond from 1995 to 2002 and seeing him come back to a character who, in many ways, is eerily similar to Bond is fun to watch. The rest of the cast is well-placed and even includes a former Bond Girl in the form of leading lady Olga Kurylenko.

"The November Man" starts to stumble when it tries to outgrow its premise. In the opinion of this reviewer, stories that are about a one-on-one rivalry are easy to drown in background noise. Obviously, there needs to be some room for the film to grow and complete a full dramatic cycle; however, layering sub-plot on top of sub-plot ultimately serves to dilute the heart of the story.

Unfortunately, there were a number of occasions when the entire film looked a little burry to me. I'm not sure if it was the film itself or the theater in which I watched it. Without seeing "The November Man" again in a different theater, it's impossible to make a comparison. One way or the other, the cinematography leads to some distraction.

All in all, "The November Man" brings summer 2014 to an OK-ish end. The undisputed champion of this summer blockbuster season is undoubtedly "Guardians of the Galaxy." Not only is it the most enjoyable film I've watched in years, it is the highest grossing film of the summer and, as of recently, the highest grossing film of the year.

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james.gerstner@gmail.com