The Matador (2005)

matador_2005_poster
The Matador (2005)
  • Time: 96 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Crime | Drama
  • Director: Richard Shepard
  • Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis

Storyline:

A chance encounter between a travelling salesman and a lonely hitman triggers a strangely profound relationship which provokes each to act in ways neither would have imagined possible. Fate steps in to form a friendship between two men from irreconcilable worlds that will alter the lives of both forever.

One review

  • Pierce Brosnan is a has been, a once was, a never will be again. As James Bond, Brosnan was suave, sophisticated and deadly. But as The Matador’s Julien Noble he is James Bond stripped down to the bare essentials of sex, death and gallows humour.

    Julian Noble is a shambolic assassin on a mission in Mexico. Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) is an average Joe on a business trip that may or may not save his career and his marriage. One evening in the Hotel bar the paths of these very different men merge.. Julien is exposed to Danny’s life and universe which is built around his high school sweetheart, and wife, Bean. Julien envies the stability and homeliness of Danny’s seemingly mundane existence; while Danny himself is excited by the charisma and charm of a man who is both reckless and calculating, masculine yet psychologically frail.

    The movie itself is awash with themes of identity, Brosnan alludes to his past as Britain’s most deadly export (“I’ve become a parody”), in many ways this is a humorous and paradoxical attempt at a character piece, although the actual character in this instance is so well established that Julien Noble could literally be the black sheep of the Bond family.

    The Matador is a movie about what happens after the event; this is highlighted by key scenes being withheld until later in the narrative or excluded completely. What we are left with is a plot that twists and turns but never so much that it disappears completely from view. The dialogue is exceptional; witty euphemisms roll off the tongue of the slimy yet lovable Julien as he seduces Danny into a life of (comical) crime (capers).

    Like every great movie the relationship between the lead characters it as the heart of The Matador. The flamboyant eccentricity of Julien is contrasted with the introverted politeness of Danny, the two polar opposite people, discover in themselves, something they see in each other.

    Overall the witty dialogue, the smart comedy, the interesting set ups and plentiful plot twists make The Matador a must see. Richard Sheperd’s astute direction and fresh and original screenplay deserve a lot of the credit, but the movie lives and dies on Brosnan’s performance, which is outstanding. Quite simply, he owns this character and for a man not known for his acting ability, this movie is a revelation.

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