Editor’s Note: This article was originally published May 5, 2015. …
Back in February, it seemed almost unfathomable that 2014 could produce a more listless spy thriller than 3 Days to Kill. Oh, for a return to those bygone days of innocence. There’s a new kid on the block and he looks a lot like the guy who used to be James Bond. Based on a popular series of ‘80’s espionage novels, The November Man feels less like an adaptation and more like the outtakes from some mediocre made-for-television movie. It’s a Frankenstein creation of re-cycled plots and villains, pieced together with lethargic pacing and turgid action sequences. Where are the invisible cars when you need them?
The 1967 Cannes Grand Prix winner Blowup was prestigious director Michelangelo Antonioni’s first foray into English, thanks to a deal struck with MGM by producer Carlo Ponti, who contracted the director to do three of them: this one, Zabriskie Point, and The Passenger. While this is clearly the best of that trio (though The Passenger has some merit), in the great Antonioni’s career it feels like a tangential experiment more than a fully realized piece of art.