As movie-going audiences know, the new film “The November Man” isn’t the first time actor Pierce Brosnan has played a character engaging in espionage.
Brosnan, who famously played British superspy James Bond in such films as the 1995 movie “Goldeneye” and the 2002 film “Die Another Day,” portrays a slightly darker take on the spy character in the film “The November Man,” which opened on Aug. 27. Brosnan plays Peter Devereaux, a former CIA employee who takes on a job in Russia.
Besides appearing in “Bond” films, the actor also starred in such films as the 1999 movie “The Thomas Crown Affair,” the 2010 film “The Ghost Writer,” and the 2013 comedy “The World’s End.”
Brosnan told the Los Angeles Times that a few days before "November" was set to start shooting, he began to think about the amount of action scenes the film would involve.
“I thought, 'Is this a good idea?'" he said. "[But] I can still run in a straight line and I can still throw a punch.”
The actor noted that he will always be linked with his role as James Bond and said that when actor Daniel Craig was brought in to play the part, “it was a mighty blow to take,” but that he was impressed after watching the 2012 movie “Skyfall.” “They got the right man for the next chapter of Bond's history,” he said.
Meanwhile, critics are less than enamored with “November,” which currently holds a score of 38 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic. John DeFore of the Hollywood Reporter enjoyed Brosnan’s performance, writing that the film “giv[es] Brosnan the opportunity to prove his cool remains intact" and wrote that "the film's cat-and-mouse scenes... [are] enjoyable and only occasionally ridiculous," though he found that "Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek's script does little to disguise the fact that we've seen and heard all of this many, many times since.”
Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly critic Jason Clark gave it a C, calling Brosnan’s performance “action-thriller paycheck-coaster” and writing that “once in a while, there's a certain drive-in/double feature junkiness that elicits a chuckle or two… but the utter lack of originality eventually sinks the movie.” And Alonso Duralde of The Wrap found “its first third [to be] a perfectly serviceable spy thriller" but "the characters in the film feel so flimsy and familiar… This is the sort of film where the plot and even the action become so uninteresting that you start asking plausibility questions.”