Sunday, 31 August 2014

The November Man (2014)

Before actually getting around to reviewing the film itself, it is important to point out that the version I watched of this had a few bits poorly cut out of it as I was in Kuwait at the time I watched it. So, from what I could work out, anything even remotely sexual seemed to be cut out (which didn't surprise me - I've had that before when watching films in the Middle East) but there also appeared to be some odd edits which, based on the scenario, I assumed to do with a woman torturing/beating a man. There were some other things, but as I didn't see the scenes, I can't say why they were sloppily cut out. It reminds of when the version of 'Wrath of the Titans' I watched had any moment talking about the death of gods being cut out. Anyway, the messy slicing of the film gave it a disjointed feel. Which is only made worse by the guys in the row in front of me using their phones, speaking, laughing, and contemplating with prayer beads.

With that off my chest, what was the film itself like? Well, I probably didn't miss much as a result of the censorship as the film was formulaic and clichéd which created something unremarkable. It sees Pierce Brosnan's ex-CIA agent return to action in a personal mission, involving a Russian presidential candidate and genocide, which puts him up against a former pupil and corrupt CIA officials.

It's not the worst made thriller you'll see. The quality could have been worse. But that's not the trouble. The issue comes from the over-abundance of clichés that cripple the film from start to finish. What this felt like was one of those straight-to DVD thrillers you find appearing in your local supermarket every so often that has a name you might recognise (in this case Brosnan).

Had the film opted for a more original route, then it might have ended up doing something of note, or at least made it a little more involving. But that isn't what it does. It decides that it wants to be a faceless copycat of many other faceless copycats of thrillers.

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