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I do not find any episode of "The Walking Dead" to be bad and I more or less enjoy every episode. This is just my opinion for their ranking of best to worst.
The Interview (2014)
I thought it was going to be worse
"The Interview" is a movie that when I heard about it, I had no intention of watching it. I had been turned off by Rogen's other films "This is the End" and the even worse "Neighbors", so when I saw that it was another one of his movies I decided I would give it a pass. After the controversy with this film I felt like I was obligated to an extent to watch this movie, so I did. While I would not call it funny and found it to be a pretty generic and bland movie, it exceeded my expectations that had been established by "This is the End" and "Neighbors".
Dave Skylar (James Franco) is the host of an entertainment news show, which turns out to be one of Kim Jong-un's (Randall Park) favorite shows. Dave's producer Aaron (Seth Rogen) scores an interview with the leader of North Korea and the two are soon recruited by the C.I.A to pull off an assassination on Kim. After arriving, Dave begins to form a friendship with Kim, putting the entire mission in jeopardy.
The biggest problem with this movie is that it isn't very funny. There are some mildly amusing moments in the film, but those moments are only funny the first time you watch them. A lot of the jokes in the movie rely on pop cultural references like Dave and Kim listening to Katy Perry's song "Firework" or Dave making several "Lord of the Rings" references at different points of the film. There are also a lot of times that an unfunny joke is carried on and on, making it less funny than it started out. I will give the movie credit that the seemingly dumb jokes like the Katy Perry joke were one-off jokes, but then it's incorporated later in the movie. However, that does not dismiss that they weren't funny.
The best part of the movie is the interview scene for some reasons that genuinely surprised me. Like I said, the scene reincorporated earlier jokes, there was some actual tension and James Franco and Randall Park both gave very good performances. I would say the only downside to the scene is when it cuts back to Aaron and Sook (Diana Bang) in the control room, fighting off the crew in there to keep the interview going.
"The Interview" is a movie that left me pleasantly surprised, but I will never watch it again. Had it not been for the controversy surrounding it, the movie would most likely have been forgotten after a few months. It's not terrible and it's a step up from the last two Rogen movies, but it's still nothing special or funny.
Big Ass Spider! (2013)
For those of you who don't know, The Asylum is a film studio that is most known for their mockbusters such as "Titanic II" and "Transmorphers" and their shark movies such as "Sharknado" and "Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus". When I first heard about "Big Ass Spider!" and saw images from it, I assumed it was another film from The Asylum. While the film maintained a few characteristics of an Asylum production, the film was not only better than anything I've seen by The Asylum, it also had elements that made it enjoyable beyond just laughing at it like you would with an Asylum movie.
After being bitten by a brown recluse, exterminator Alex Mathis (Greg Grunberg) goes to the hospital that is soon swarmed by a military team, lead by Major Braxton Tanner (Ray Wise) and Lieutenant Karly Brant (Clare Kramer). An alien-spider hybrid, which was accidentally sent to the hospital inside a cadaver, escapes and begin to run amok in downtown Los Angeles. Alex and a hospital security guard named Jose (Lombardo Boyar) team up to try and kill the spider as Tanner's team attempts to do the same.
While the characters in "Big Ass Spider!" are one-dimensional and not very interesting, that proves to be a positive thing for this movie. In The Asylum movies, it feels like they devote so much time into the characters without having them be interesting, which just makes the movie slow down. In "Big Ass Spider!", there are some small moments that get us to like the characters without slowing the movie down.
When it comes to the spider, the film keeps it mostly hidden for the first hour of the movie, save for the opening sequence. When the spider first shows up in its smaller form, you either only see it from afar, in the dark, or its legs. This shows restraint because most other movies like this would just throw it out there at the very beginning and get the body count up, but it stays mostly hidden, picking people off one-by-one until its entrance. Then, when the spider does make its grand appearance, there are some actual tense and well orchestrated action sequences and the movie becomes very exhilarating.
While the character of Jose has a stereotypical accent, the movie barely uses that for its comedic relief. While Jose is the comic relief of the movie, he actually has some genuinely amusing lines like when Alex's truck is destroyed, he is upset that he left his glasses in it.
There are, still, a few problems with the plot that exist in the film. For instance, the cadaver with the alien spider was accidentally sent to the hospital when the military knew exactly what was inside the cadaver. You'd think they'd be more careful than that. It's also hard to believe that the spider could disappear and end up at the park without being seen. Also, there are several moments when someone would have noticed the spider but they somehow don't.
Though the movie has some flaws, they are shadowed by the sheer amount of fun and enjoyment this movie has to offer, while somehow still being genuinely good. It has some signs of an Asylum movie, like the ridiculous premise, the bad CGI, and somewhat recognizable but not well known actors, but it also has more to it. There are some funny moments, you like the characters, and the filmmaker shows restraint in a lot of areas.
The Pink Panther (2006)
Nothing works in this movie
I have never seen the original "Pink Panther" movie starring Peter Sellers, and from my reaction to this movie, that's a good thing. Had I watched the original film first, I probably would have hated this film more. The 2006 "Pink Panther" is a dumb, pathetic comedy that tries and fails to make you laugh in so many ways that the biggest joke is that any of the writers thought they had written something funny.
After the murder of the French soccer team's coach (Jason Statham) and the subsequent disappearance of his Pink Panther diamond, Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) brings in the bumbling 'Village Idiot' police officer turned inspector, Jacques Clousseau (Steve Martin) to solve the case. Dreyfus, who is a nominee for the Medal of Honor, wants to use Clousseau as a target for the media to follow while he goes and solves the case with his best inspectors in order to win the Medal of Honor.
Helping Clousseau in his investigation is Gilbert Ponton (Jean Reno), who has been ordered by Dreyfus to give him updates on Clousseau's investigation. Unintended by Dreyfus, Clousseau and Ponton form a friendship, giving Ponton reason to not want to help Dreyfus any longer. Together, they investigate a number of suspects including the coach's fiancée Xania (Beyonce Knowles), the soccer/football team's trainer Yuri (Henry Czerny), and a soccer/football player named Bizu (William Abadie).
As I said, I have never seen any of the original "Pink Panther" movies, but a movie I have seen is "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" which this movie seems to borrow a lot from. I have no idea if the original Clousseau played by Peter Sellers was like this, but the character seemed to try and be Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen). There were a number of jokes in the movie that felt very "The Naked Gun"-esque, including Clousseau accidentally destroying Xania's bathroom by setting it on fire to Clousseau breaking a globe and letting it role around Paris. While in "The Naked Gun" those jokes would have been funny, the writers did not know how to pull them off in this movie.
The plot of the movie is set in motion by the weakest character choice I may have ever seen in a movie. Dreyfus, who has been nominated seven times for the Medal of Honor and desperately wants to win it, brings Clousseau onto the case to bumble around for the media while Dreyfus and his team of good inspectors try to solve the case. Why did Dreyfus even need someone like Clousseau to keep the media's attention on? Why didn't he want the media to know he was working on the case? If there was a reason to it, wouldn't the fact that he hired a bumbling idiot like Clousseau reflect poorly on him? The entire reason for the movie's plot is based around a character's weak motivation the comes across as uncharacteristic.
Also, the character of Clousseau is a bumbling idiot, and, as such, he should solve the case in the most ludicrous of ways. He's not like Maxwell Smart (Don Adams/Steve Carell) from "Get Smart" where he's occasionally bumbling, but still a good secret agent who can solve one of his cases with a level of competence. Clousseau was never shown to have any redeemable qualities as a police officer, yet at the end of the movie he is able to solve the case with a level of competence. I'd be okay with it if him solving the case competently was part of some sort of character arc, but his character has no arc.
The movie does attempt to set up jokes, but they are never funny. In some cases the movie goes on and on with the joke, like with Clousseau trying to say, "I would like to buy a hamburger." In other cases, you can see the punchline coming from a mile away and when it happens it fails because you saw it coming. Then, there are the recurring jokes in the movie like Clousseau making sure no one is listening to conversations to Clousseau cutting a wire that ends up breaking something which are not funny the first time, so naturally they aren't funny the second time.
"The Pink Panther" is easily one of the worst movies I've ever watched in my life. The plot doesn't work, the jokes don't work, the characters don't work. Nothing works with this movie.
It has some real potential
I know the show is only three episodes in, but from what I've seen, I believe it has real potential.
I think the premise of this show is quite good. A once high-powered attorney now having to serve as a public defender sounds like it has a lot of potential for funny situations for the characters to get themselves into and for humorous side characters to be introduced.
For the most part, I am unaware of any of the actors in this show with the exception of Eliza Coupe (Nina Whitley) and Oscar Nunez (Carlos). Coupe is a talented actress and comedian who also portrayed Denise on the medical sitcom drama "Scrubs" who I'm glad to see in something else. Nunez has done good comedic work on "The Office" and Jay Harrington (Phil Quinlan) has so far given some good comedic performances in the show.
The one issue I have at the moment is that of the main character, Nina. While Eliza Coupe has done a good job at bringing the character to life, I feel at the moment she is a bit annoying and unlikable, which is understandable given where she came from and the job she now has, but it's a bit of an off put for me. Though, it's only been three episodes so I'm sure that Nina is another Michael Scott (Steve Carell) from "The Office" or Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) from "Parks and Recreation", a main character who I find annoying who I will learn to like after getting to know her better.
It's only the start of the series so it's a little bumpy, but most series are at the beginning and just need to find its footing. That's the case with "Benched" and I am eager for the next episode because, as I've already said, I think this show has great potential.
Fight Club (1999)
Fincher's weakest work
"Fight Club" is one of those movies where you need to watch it more than once to fully understand what happened in the movie. The problem is that "Fight Club" leaves you with no reason to re-watch it other than to know if the movie is actually a complex but brilliant masterpiece, or an overrated film that just barely rises above mediocrity. I guess I will have to stay with believing the latter because nothing makes me want to return.
The narrator (Edward Norton), who is suffering from insomnia, meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) on a company trip. When the narrator returns to his apartment, he finds that it has been destroyed and, with no one else to go to, calls Tyler. The narrator moves into Tyler's house and one night, upon Tyler's request, the narrator punches him. The two begin to fight and attract a crowd of people, which becomes Fight Club.
"Fight Club" is hailed as a brilliant social commentary about consumerism and how we as people live our lives now, though it isn't saying anything more than any other person or form of media that has spoken up about consumerism, and at the same time is feeding the viewer a false idea. Tyler says, "An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy sh*t we don't need." Right, because there are no other reasons why people would be working these jobs that they hate? Not everything is about consumerism. Some people have jobs for that reason, but others have certain situations in their lives which makes them have to take these white collar jobs even if they hate it. In all fairness, the movie does save itself a bit by disapproving of Tyler's radical plans, but it is still trying to pass off his ideas as an important message when his they are flawed.
Carrying on the theme of trying to be brilliant but failing, let's take a look at the plot. So, Tyler is just a figment of the Narrator's imagination because of his insomnia. Okay, got it. So, the Narrator is fighting himself in the parking lot of the bar when a group of guys comes out to watch and decides that they want to fight as well, which means that they were the first people to join fight club. But, they saw that there was obviously something wrong with the Narrator because he's fighting himself, so why would they end up following a guy who was obviously not all there? He wasn't spreading his propaganda about consumerism at the time either, so they weren't following him because they believed his ideas. Then, the twist that Tyler was in the Narrator's head the whole time is one of the laziest twists in cinematic history. Ignoring the fact that it barely makes sense like with the example I gave above, the twist of something being in a character's mind is like a film student level idea when they're trying to be deep. Then, to get rid of Tyler, the Narrator shoots himself in the head and that somehow kills him. I've heard that it's supposed to symbolize that the Narrator was finally able to let go of Tyler and is able to make his own choice now, but to me, symbolism only works if it makes sense. What it's symbolizing makes sense, how it's done doesn't.
Along with Pitt and Norton, Helena Bonham Carter (Marla) also appears in the film, who is used for nothing more than additional pointless drama, that makes no sense in the grand scheme of things. It is said throughout the whole movie that the Narrator doesn't like Marla, but the side of him that's Tyler at least tolerates her or has romantic feelings towards her or something. So, at the end, when Project Mayhem is about to go through with its master plan, the Narrator warns Marla to leave town and when she's captured, he goes to help her. Now, it makes a little sense that he might feel guilty about getting her involved, even though he was willing to let her die earlier in the film, but then it implies some sort of deeper connection between them, even though it was the Tyler side of the Narrator that liked her, and it's shown that the Narrator and Tyler both have different ideas and thoughts, so they are individuals, but now the Narrator suddenly cares about Marla.
"Fight Club" is a movie with a flawed understanding of society that, while it's condemning the actions of Tyler Durden, it is promoting his flawed logic as some sort of important message about society and how we live our lives. This movie comes off to me one of those films that actually has very little or nothing new to say, but people believe it has an important commentary to it and praise it even though it's nothing more or less than mediocre and barely worth remembering. I like David Fincher a lot and while, based on what I've seen, I don't believe he's made a bad movie yet, this is cutting is pretty close.
Better than the first time I watched it
When I first saw "Prometheus" a year and a half ago, I described it as a hodgepodge of bad ideas. Taking a second look at it now, I realize that my original views on the film were a little harsh. "Prometheus" in no way reaches the level that "Alien" and "Aliens" is on, but it is still an impressive movie with a few problems that do bog it down.
After discovering a series of similar drawings on location of ancient civilizations that never had contact with one another, two scientists, Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) believe the drawings are a map back to their creator's home world. Sponsored by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the crew of the Prometheus is sent to the location shown in the drawings to try and find the creators, who are dubbed engineers. Among the crew of the Prometheus is Vickers, a Weyland company employee named(Charlize Theron), an android named David (Michael Fassbender), Captain Janek (Idris Elba), a geologist named Fifield (Sean Harris), and a biologist named Millburn (Rafe Spall).
Like the original "Alien", it Scott makes the audience wait for the creatures to appear and the horror to start. Only after the movie is half over do we get the first casualties on the mission. The film also does have a scary premise that our creators are not happy with us, so they want to destroy us. The only problem with this is that the engineer who is trying to kill the crew of the Prometheus has no known motivation to do this.
A problem that I had that I've never seen anyone else bring up is the lack of relationship between the characters. Yes, Shaw and Holloway are in a relationship, but it never actually feels like they are. Vickers is actually Weyland's daughter, but they are given very little screen time together, and Weyland views David as the son he never had, which could of had potential for an interesting relationship between Vickers and David. Shaw discovers that David killed Holloway, but is barely shown angry at him, until the end when he needs help and it feels like it comes out nowhere.
Like most people, I think there were some dumb and confusing character moments in the film. Shaw and Vickers running in a straight line from the rolling ship is something everyone has pointed out, as is Millburn (the biologist) being scared off by a dead alien and then being interested in an alien snake creature. Fifield and Millburn get lost when the Prometheus has a sophisticated tracking system and Fifield has all the mapping equipment. David's motivation for infecting Holloway with the black goo is something that does not make a lot of sense.
The movie does have very impressive visuals and some strong performances, the best coming from Fassbender as David. The entire landscape of the world that the crew was on looked amazing and like it was really there. The movie also has the second best scene in all of the Alien franchise with Shaw getting the creature cut out of her.
The movie has a few problems that bog it down, but the movie is held up by its premise, the performances, the visuals, and Scott's superb directing. I didn't bring up anything about the loose ends because there were not as many as I remembered and none of them bogged the movie down for me. This is definitely a movie I like but I can understand why others might not.
Room 237 (2012)
Filled mostly with idiocy
"Room 237" is the documentary equivalent to those whack jobs who form conspiracy theories out of everything they see. In all fairness, there are a few valid points made throughout this documentary where even if that wasn't the Kubrick was going for with "The Shining", you could at least take the interpretation seriously. Don't get your hopes up though; that's only about twenty-five to thirty minutes of the documentary.
There are three points that actually do have some weight to them. The idea that the movie had underlining themes about genocide and forgetting about the past, primarily the genocide of the Native Americans and the Holocaust, and another guy who talks about disappearing items having some relevance. While the disappearing items is a stretch, the man maintains credibility by saying that they could be mere continuity errors, but that is not what he believes.
Other than those three points, the rest of the documentary is filled with theories that are just ludicrous. These ludicrous theories range from the inclusion on the the Minotaur from Greek mythology to Kubrick subtly telling us that he helped fake the moon landing. Then, there are things pointed out that either, a. have nothing to do with any hidden meaning in the film, or b. are not even about the film. One woman talks about how when she was thinking about the movie, her son came in and told her a story he thought up which had some similarities to "The Shining". Why is that getting any screen time in this documentary? Another point is that the w
Yes, there are a few valid points made in this documentary, but the rest of it is bogged down with crackpot theories that make little sense. Stanley Kubrick's former assistant Leon Vitali called the theories expressed in this movie as gibberish, and I do not blame him. "The Shining" is a masterpiece of a film which I'm sure has more to it than it first appears, but these theories aren't it.
End of Watch (2012)
Good premise and acting, but ultimately bogged down
"End of Watch" is a police drama film written and directed by David Ayer, who has worked on a number of police-related movies in the past as either the writer, director, or both, including "S.W.A.T" and "Street Kings". The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as two LAPD officers and focuses on their day-to-day work as police officers and their personal lives.
The film does not seem to know what it is in its method of filming. There are numerous times when the scene is shown through a multitude of different cameras, but then there are scenes where the angle would be impossible for there to be a camera. A scene I will use as an example is when the gang members are in their car. One gang member has a camera and is filming them, which we see the scene unfold through. However, when a character talks to them and the camera shows the gang member holding the video camera, there are no cameras in the car that would have gotten that video. The point I am making is that the film jumps between found-footage and then regular filming at random points in scenes, which gets frustrating.
The dialog in this movie has been praised by many, and while I can understand why so many people thought it was great, I thought at best it was mediocre. A lot of the street talk was cliché and stereotypical, as was the banter between the police officers, not Gyllenhaal and Pena, felt like it came from someone who didn't know how people joked around with one another. This is also one of only three movies, the other two being the 2005 "Assault on Precinct 13" and the recent movie "Sex Tape" where I have to complain about the swearing in the dialog. Now, I have no problem with swearing, but in this movie, I felt like it got worked into every other sentence because it was supposed to make the dialog feel more realistic. Now, to Ayer's credit, there are some scenes with very good use of dialog, especially at the funeral scene and the last scene of the movie. The single line used during the funeral said everything that needed to be said without going overboard, and the last scene of the movie felt like one person telling a funny story.
One thing I will give credit for was the acting in this movie. Gyllenhaal and Pena had very good chemistry and worked off of each other well. Anna Kendrick also did a very good job. I'm actually surprised none of these actors were nominated for Academy Awards for their work in this movie.
Even with the acting, though, the film is still bogged down with problems, deriving heavily from the camera work and dialog. The idea of following around two officers in their day-to-day lives including their police work and personal lives is an interesting idea, and I think it could be pulled off with a better script and less of the found- footage aspect of the camera work.
Ella Enchanted (2004)
"Ella Enchanted" is the kind of kids movie that, if you're older and have kids or younger siblings, you can sit down and watch it with them, they'll enjoy it and you can just forget it afterward. For a kids movie, it's not unbearably stupid, nor does it treat kids like they don't have brains, it's just a very generic kids fairy-tale movie filled with simplistic, one-dimensional villains, musical numbers, goofy side-characters, and an obvious love story.
Ella of Frell (Anne Hathaway) is is given the gift of obedience by the fairy Lucinda (Vivicia A. Fox) and must keep her gift secret so people can't use it against her. After Ella's mother (Donna Dent) passes away, her father (Patrick Bergin) remarries several years later to Dame Olga (Joanna Lumley), Ella's generic evil stepmother, who has two daughters who are Ella's generic evil stepsisters, Hattie (Lucy Punch) and Olive (Jennifer Higham). The two stepsisters discover Ella's gift of obedience and use it to make her life miserable, forcing her to steal from a mall and get rid of her best friend (Parminder Nagra).
Ella, ventures out to find Lucinda to take back her gift, with the help of her house fairy Mandy's (Minnie Driver) boyfriend Benny (Jimi Mistry) whom Mandy has accidentally turned into a book, Slannen (Aidan McArdle), an elf who wants to be a lawyer, and Prince Char (Hugh Dancy), whom Ella is at first repulsed by because she believes he is like his evil uncle Edgar (Cary Elwes). As they search for Lucinda, Ella and Char begin to fall in love with one another and Edgar, learning of Ella's obedience, hopes to use her in his plan to assassinate Char before he can claim the throne.
The villains of the film are all generic, one-dimensional characters that we have already seen before. Edgar is the evil uncle who wants to rule the kingdom who has killed his brother and now wants his nephew out of the picture, like Scar (Jeremy Irons) from "The Lion King". Then, we have the mean stepmother and stepsisters who treat Ella poorly, like with the stepmother and stepsisters from "Cinderella". While the main characters are given a little more to their characters than just a generic character-type, it doesn't always lead anywhere. Slannen says he wants to be a lawyer and that he does not sing. He has one quick moment where he acts like a lawyer, but in the last scene of the movie he is singing when he has made it clear he doesn't want to sing or perform.
The two main musical numbers that I remember being performed in the movie, Elton John and Kiki Dee's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and Queen's "Somebody to Love" serve no purpose to the actual story. They aren't like the songs you would get in a Disney movie where they are used to further the plot, these songs bring the movie to a screeching halt. It feels like these songs are in the movie for two reasons: 1. Because it's a kid's movie and kid's movies need musical numbers in it, and 2. To show off Anne Hathaway's singing. Now, Anne Hathaway is a talented singer and she does a fantastic job in this movie, especially with "Somebody to Love", but that does not dismiss that these songs are pointless to the overall movie and bring the movie to a standstill.
At the end of the movie, Ella breaks the spell of obedience by looking at herself in a mirror and telling her to no longer be obedient. For the whole run of the movie, I was questioning why neither her mother or Mandy the household fairy told her to not be obedient to anyone ever again, which would have solved the whole movie within the first ten minutes. I find it very hard to believe that no one in Ella's family thought of this idea for all the years that she had the curse.
"Ella Enchanted" is a movie that the best way to describe it would be generic. It's not terrible, but it does not stand out when it comes to the long list of kid's fairy tale movies that exist. It has the regular love story that you can see coming from a mile away, simplistic villains with no depth or charm to them who are just made as evil as possible so you hate them and like the heroes more in comparison, goofy side-characters, musical numbers, and all the other stuff you'd expect to find in a kid's movie. Once again, it's perfectly acceptable for kids. While generic and simplistic, it does treat kids like they have a brain and if you have kids or a younger sibling, you can watch with them and forget about it when it's done without feeling like you've lost brain cells.
The November Man (2014)
I don't know what happened in this movie
Of all of the overly confusing movies I have seen in my life, this one is the most unique out of all of them. All of the other films I have seen were confusing because too much was forced into it and or the story was made overly complex. This film, on the other hand, is confusing because of how little anything is explained or makes sense.
Starting off with a past mission, Agents Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) and Mason (Luke Bracey) are assigned to stop the assassination of an ambassador. Devereaux orders Mason not to do anything do to the assassin's position, but Mason kills the assassin, resulting in a civilian also being killed. This opening served no purpose as we barely learn anything about the characters and it doesn't serve any purpose to later events in the film.
Cut to several years later, Devereaux is asked by his friend Hanley (Bill Smitrovich) to go on a mission to extract an agent who has information on a Russian politician (Lazar Ristovski) who is running for president. The agent, Natalia (Mediha Musliovic), happens to be the mother of Devereaux's daughter. Devereaux attempts to extract her, but she is shot and killed by Mason under orders from Perry Weinstein (Bill Patton). Natalia manages to give Devereaux her phone with pictures that would incriminate the politician. Instead of turning the pictures over to the C.I.A, whom Mason is an agent for, Devereaux goes not only after Mason because he wants to kill him, but a woman named Alice (Olga Kurylenko) as well because she might know where a person is who knows inside information regarding the politician. Joining in on the hunt for Alice is Weinstein's C.I.A group, including Mason, and a hired assassin (Amila Terzimehic).
Starting right here is when the movie starts to become complete confusion. Devereaux wants to protect Alice to keep everyone from reaching the girl, Mira, who would know about the politician. However, he doesn't give the incriminating pictures to anyone or post them online to show what the politician did.
At the same time, Devereaux wants to kill Mason, for some reason. He acts as if it is because he views Mason as a murderer, but if that were the real case Devereaux would have killed Mason right after Mason killed Natalia when he had the chance to. Plus, he was following orders to kill Natalia, but Devereaux is blaming him for the killing and then nearly kills Mason's sudden girlfriend Sarah (Eliza Taylor) to teach him a lesson. Devereaux's motivations throughout the entire movie make no sense, and we are supposed to understand and sympathize with him.
It is revealed that Hanley was working with the politician the whole time. The reveal that Hanley and the politician are working together also leads to the reveal that Hanley has been controlling the politician the whole time and is planning on using him when he's president. However, their plan or even their actions in the present are not what makes them the villains of the movie. They are the villains because they did some bad things over a decade ago, so there is no real urgency to any of it. Their present plans are not evil, so there is no real rush to stop them.
Remember how I said barely anything was revealed in the opening of the movie, well, here's what was revealed. Other than the fact that Devereaux says Mason can't follow orders, we learn that Mason is looking for a partner to have in his life. What does that lead to? A pointless subplot involving Mason and his neighbor Sarah. They introduce themselves to one another, they go out on a date, Devereaux injures her as revenge, and she goes to the hospital. And that's the last we see of her. She doesn't show up at the end with Mason somewhere. She just disappears from the story.
Another character who just disappears from the story is Edgar Simpson (Patrick Kennedy), a reporter for the New York Times who is doing a report on the Russian politician. He shows up to ask Alice some questions about what she knows about the politician and where he can find Mira. Alice goes to his house later on and he is killed. What was the point of his character? Nothing. He was just thrown in and made the whole story more confusing.
How is it as an action spy thriller? Terrible. Are there some decent fights and action sequences in it. Sure, but those few moments are ruined by the fact that you have no idea what is going on in the plot, so you have no idea what the point of the action scene is.
"The November Man" might be the most confusing movie I have ever seen in my life. The majority of the character's motivations make little sense, the villain's plan isn't even villainous or hold much weight to the final effect of the film, the characters are underdeveloped, and the entire thing is just convoluted. I remember when I saw "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" that I said the evil plan was convoluted. Well, compared to this movie that plan is pretty straight forward, and at least that plan held weight to it. Like I said, there were a few decent action sequences in there, but they aren't worth sitting through the whole movie to see.