November Man

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He no longer has a license to kill, but he has a license to get the senior discount and many places. Instead of late night dinners and seducing gorgeous Russian spies, he’s now going to dinner in time for the early bird special and training new recruits. Yeah, you get all those usual spy clichés and old jokes. I kept thinking he’d tell the young rogue agent, “I taught you everything you know…but not everything I know.”

There were things wrong with this movie, but it’s actually a lot of fun. It’s what a summer popcorn flick should be.

Where as the recently Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit reminded us all of 80s thrillers in Russia (but not in a good way), this reminds us of the days thrillers taking place in Russia could be fun.

The story has politician Arkady Fedorov (Lazar Ristovski) all primed to become the Russian president. Yet there are a few skeletons in his closet (literally), and that could make things tough. So, he has a top-notch hit woman take out anybody that could spill the secret. Of course we fear this woman. She wears all black, shows no emotion, and we see her doing these insane stretches and neck cracks before heading out of her apartment to start mowing people down.

Pierce Brosnan is Peter Deveraux, an ex-CIA agent who is enjoying his retirement. He owns a small café on the water, drives a classic Porsche, and of course, gets that inevitable call from Hanley (Bill Smitrovich). It’s that one last job rescuing a spy that’s in trouble. Since Deveraux obviously has feelings for the woman, he goes. What could go wrong?

There’s also a sweet Serbian social worker (Olga Kurylenko, who was a former Bond girl). She reluctantly helps Deveraux, but quickly gets in over her head.

You can’t get too bogged down by the plot, though. It has a few holes and can get a little confusing. Who cares, though? We’re watching Deveraux use his brains over brawn to get away from all the bad guys. And just as Bond always had the latest gadget, here we get shenanigans with cell phones, drones, and air bags.

Director Roger Donaldson deserves a lot of credit. It has been 14 years, since he gave us 13 Days (Kevin Costner). He also did the great Costner Russian spy flick No Way Out. We were all pleasantly surprised with The Bank Job (Jason Statham). Yet in the ‘80s, Donaldson gave us Cadillac Man and Cocktail. Yet he keeps us engaged the whole time and despite predictability around every corner, you’re still on the edge of your seat.

This gets 3 ½ stars out of 5, and inspired me to tinker with a Beatles classic:

November Man – Lennon/McCartney/Board

He is called November Man/So old now, just sits on the can

Making plans to start to eat more bran.

Doesn’t film View to a Kill/He has a cat on the window sill

But surprisingly this movie thrills.

November Man, please see it

You don’t know, what you’re missing.

November Man, Bond still has a gun in his hand!