“The best cocktail party story you’ve ever met”
No matter what you say about Pierce Brosnan’s acting talent, you have to give him credit for being able to make fun of the roles he has made a living on. From TV’s “Remington Steele” to his stint as James Bond, Brosnan has always been the suave killer with the serious demeanor and ladies aplenty. Even as of late you see him doing variations of the part like his diamond thief in After the Sunset. With The Matador, however, we see a side of Brosnan that is rarely used, his impeccable comedic timing. Sure he still is an assassin, but the way he plays it is priceless. I never really thought I’d be laughing yet alone laughing as often as I did while watching this film.
The idea of having a hitman losing his edge has been done before, (see Grosse Pointe Blank). What makes The Matador different is that we have someone who realizes how alone in the world he is and the need to have someone to talk with as he globetrots to his next kill. The actual breakdown doesn’t occur until later on and even then it’s just for the taste of blood, not a complete nervous breakdown. Brosnan’s Julian Noble is just normally a guy slightly off his rocker. Every word out of his mouth is hilarious and the sexual metaphor/simile one-liners are priceless. Lines like, “I look like a Bangkok hooker on a Sunday morning, after the navy's left town,” show how witty the script is. To be able to have as much fun as I did with these characters while also watching them evolve and do exactly what is expected based on who they are is a rare treat. Greg Kinnear is the perfect straight man to have Brosnan play off of and the two have a wonderful rapport. Their relationship starts awkwardly as any would between two men of total opposite poles and progresses realistically to the point where you believe they would be telling each other what they are, (the liberal amounts of alcohol definitely helps as well). Even the clichéd “six months later” device midway was utilized well and intelligently. All in all, The Matador is an entertaining indie comedy well worth your time.
The Matador 8/10 | ★ ★ ★