The Matador

Film, Drama

Time Out says

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.



Release details

Release date:
Friday February 24 2006
96 mins

Cast and crew

Richard Shepard
Richard Shepard
Philip Baker Hall
Greg Kinnear
Pierce Brosnan
Hope Davis
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