The Matador (15)




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Time Out says

Tue Feb 21 2006

Hitman Julian Noble (Pierce Brosnan) has been killing people for too long; though expert and amoral enough to get hired for corporate jobs aplenty, he’s now finding it harder to pull the trigger. He’s lonely, too, despite having sex (paid-for or otherwise) almost whenever he wants. So late one night, birthday-drunk in a ritzy Mexico City hotel, he’s drawn into unlikely conversation with strait-laced Denver businessman Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear), whose main worry is staying in work so that his beloved wife Bean (Hope Davis) doesn’t leave him. At first Danny disbelieves Julian’s claims regarding his profession – until a live demonstration at the corrida reveals the thrill of living (and taking life) dangerously. In short, a few margaritas with Julian has turned Danny and Bean’s humdrum existence upside down…

Despite a decidedly wayward accent, Brosnan’s irreverent charm makes this a welcome alternative to Bond nonsense, even if it’s insufficient to compensate for dreary Kinnear, the less than dazzling Davis, and the movie’s moral ‘stance’ (if such hollow posturing merits that term); somehow the film contrives to be at once offensively callous about murder victims and ludicrously timid in its desperation to retain sympathy for the three leads. This have-your-cake-and-eat-it attitude extends to a bullfight, Julian’s preference for ‘margaritas and cock’, and virtually everything else. The film’s fast, has some neat lines (‘I look like a Bangkok hooker on a Sunday morning after the navy left town’), but its outrageousness is facile; as black comedy it’s not so much subversive as frustratingly evasive.


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Release details



UK release:

Fri Feb 24, 2006


96 mins

Cast and crew

Art Director:

Marcelo Del Rio, Enrique Echeverria


Richard Shepard

Production Designer:

Robert Pearson


Hope Davis, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Philip Baker Hall


Rolfe Kent


Richard Shepard


Carole Kravetz


David Tattersall

Users say

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
1 person listening

Just plain vulgar, boring, stupid and overacted; These are the most polite words coming to my mind in order to describe this 'film'