“Let’s just watch the movie on my phone.” My NPR review of Martin Campbell’s The Foreigner, which I enjoyed for its Northern Irish political skullduggery and for Pierce Brosnan’s sleazy performance but found far less involving as a vehicle for producer-star Jackie Chan. In addition to a bunch of decent-but-not great movies (and the giant flop Green Lantern, which I never saw) Campbell made the best-in-class 007 adventure, Casino Royale, so a mediocre espionage film from him counts as a disappointment.
Did you happen to notice that the 12-year interval between The November Man, which I review for NPR today, and Brosnan’s final appearance as James Bond, 2002’s (lousy) Die Another Day, matches the span of time that elapsed between Sean Connery’s final “official” Bond performance, in 1971’s (lousy) Diamonds Are Forever, and his return in 1983’s out-of-canon Never Say Never Again?
Well, I did. I also note that it was during the Brosnan era (1995-2002) that the Bond flicks ceased to be early summer releases and started coming out in November. That’s got nothing at all to do why this thing is called The November Man, but it’s a better rationale than the one character actor Bill Smitrovich, whom I recall so fondly from Michael Mann’s 1960s-set 1980s cop show Crime Story, gets to articulate in the movie.
My review of The Love Punch, a disappointing romantic caper featuring the appealing pairing of Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan, is up now at The Dissolve. Somebody give these two a better movie to costar in, stat.
Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Emma Thompson, and Pierce Brosnan in The Love Punch. (Etienne George)