badger: (badgerman)
[personal profile] badger
I read the entire November Man espionage novel sequence while they were coming out and was pleased to see a film adaptation of There Are No Spies, the seventh, was happening. I am less pleased at the resulting film.

It's both mediocre and almost unrecognizable as the characters from the novels. For example, I don't remember Hanley as being a tough military type who served with Devereaux in some unspecified combat. I remember the character as being a quintessential government bureaucrat. Perhaps my memory is wrong. Bill Smitrovich plays Hanley the way Ernest Borgnine would have if Borgnine had been handed this script in the 1980s.

I simply do not buy the big reveal plot twist of the movie as being in character, even remotely, for the characters from the novels.

No mention of R Section (in the novels, the characters work for a "who will watch the watchers?"-motivated spy agency intended to monitor and factcheck CIA and the rest of the US intelligence community, much tension from inter-service rivalry), in the movie everyone is simply CIA.

Tradecraft as regards suspension of disbelief is terrible for me - the HELL is the CIA going to get away with flying drones in modern Moscow tracking a car to a meet. By drone I mean large Parrot AR drone 4' feet across flying through downtown Moscow tailing cars at only a few stories height.

Also, the backstory for the November Man name has no resemblance to the reason from the books - in the movie Hanley tells Devereaux "you know what we called you in the office? The November Man, because after you passed through, nothing lived. "

With the update to modern day (not in and of itself a problem), the unrecognizable characters, the missing significant characters, and so on, they might as well have made the identical mediocre movie without connecting it to the novel. It's not recognizable to me as being related.

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