Former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan plays a much grittier spy in this thriller.

Based on There Are No Spies, book seven in The November Man series by novelist Bill Granger, here Brosnan plays a spy from across the Atlantic.

The central plot is a game of cat and mouse between retired CIA officer Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) and one of his protégés, David Mason (Luke Bracey), who accidentally killed a child while disobeying his leader’s instructions several years ago in Montenegro.

After retiring to Switzerland to run a coffee shop, Devereaux is brought out of retirement by former boss John Hanley (Bill Smitrovich).

He wants to extract Natalia Ulanova (Mediha Musliovic) so that Arkady Fedorov, a former Russian army general turned presidential candidate, can face Chechen war crime charges.

With Hanley unaware that CIA station chief Perry Weinstein (Will Patton) is sending Mason on the same mission, Devereaux will soon have to deal with more than just the enemy and pretty faces.

Australian director Roger Donaldson’s films include No Way Out, Thirteen Days and The World’s Fastest Indian as well as Brosnan’s own volcanic thriller, Dante’s Peak (1997).

The November Man’s plot is unbelievably far-fetched and loaded with genre clichés, but the greying 61-year-old Brosnan still looks the part and if he was wearing a T-shirt it would say ‘No More Mr Nice Spy’.

Many of the weaponry, stunts and quips are classic Bond, wrapped up in the kind of speedy editing that also makes this a modern alternative to Liam Neeson’s Taken series.