Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The November Man


Pierce Brosnan is a CIA agent on an assignment to impersonate an American ambassador and draw the fire of an assassin so his trainee sniper, Luke Bracey, can kill the hitter. But it all goes south and a child is killed. Pierce hangs up his 00 license to kill. Five years later, he is summoned out of retirement … yes, that old story. You know that he will be betrayed, and if you’ve seen any of these you can guess a lot of other story elements as well.

When I’m watching a middling-good to middling-bad spy movie like this, I tend to notice things that I might otherwise gloss over in a better movie. You know, one of the common elements such as automatic rifle fire that can’t hit anything, impossible falls, etc. In this case it was the old “Where are the fucking police?” problem. With a car chase you can maybe convince yourself that it’s all moving so rapidly that the cops just haven’t shown up yet. But here we have a monumental shoot-out in a fancy hotel. The grand staircase is littered with bleeding bodies. Our guy goes into one of the rooms and kills even more people. Then he comes out … and all is calm, all is bright. Not even hotel security seems to have heard the fusillade, much less any police response. Pierce approaches a hotel maid who is going about her business on the same floor where the shooting happened, and she is shocked, shocked, to see a man with a gun in his hand. Presumably she was deaf, but what about everybody else? This is not even to mention (well, okay, I’m mentioning it) the long foot chases through crowded streets by four or five CIA assassins with guns in their hands. These movies truly do happen in an alternate reality, but I prefer not to be reminded of it so blatantly.