Old assassins may die hard, but in this plot-bouncing thriller starring Pierce Brosnan they’re also pretty hard to kill. Brosnan, still looking 007 fit in his early sixties, plays Peter Devereaux, a retired CIA agent called back into the game to help bring in a Russian double agent. The double agent has the goods on a Russian general who executed innocents and likely staged an act of Chechen terrorism to further his agenda, thus positioning himself to ascend to the apex of Russian political royalty.
That premise might sound silly, and it’s hard not to think of Putin and the Russia of the moment, though there’s never any mention of the notorious president (the film’s based on Bill Granger’s 1986 book “There Are No Spies,” which clung to Cold War fumes). That aside, as a straight-up spy thriller, “The November Man” does offer fierce and feverishly paced rewards. The rub is that Devereaux happens to have loved the double agent in question (with whom he has a 12-year-old daughter – and a cafe on Lake Geneva – that none of the folks running the machine know of) and that causes his handlers some concern, so they assign Devereaux’s former protégé, a young can-do field operative by the name of Mason (a hunky yet generic Luke Bracey) the task of cleaning up the stink Devereaux is stirring up in Belgrade. Continue reading