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.Written by
Hope Davis became involved with this picture early on. Richard Shepard said: "Hope came to an early script reading to play the part of Bean, and about halfway through the read, I think we all kind of looked at each other, and it became clear. From then on it was Hope, and only Hope for the role. She's one of the best actresses working today. When I think about this cast, I have to pinch myself." Pierce Brosnan said: "Hope was someone that we always wanted. Her character kind of permeates the story, even when she's not on-screen. By the time you get to the third act, she's this angel that appears to Julian. She's just lovely, and Hope, bless her heart, was with child, so it was very dramatic for her. She's a real trooper." See more »
When Danny, Bean and Julian are drinking whiskey late at night in the Wright's house, the position of the bottle moves from the table, to on top of a book, and back onto the table again during different camera shots of them all talking. See more »
An assassin without confidence is a horrible thing to behold. It's like a relief pitcher who fumbles the ball.
Please tell me you know you mixed two sports in a metaphor.
Huh? Yeah, I can't do that.
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"The filmmakers do not condone bullfighting, but respect its long tradition in the Mexican culture. It was extremely important to the producers that no bulls were harmed because of the production of 'The Matador'. In no way did the producers of this film create, arrange or organize any of the bullfights seen within this movie. Sequences staged by the producers employed fake and computer-generated bulls exclusively. Absolutely no animals were harmed by the production of this movie." See more »
This tremendously entertaining film grabs you from the opening scene and never stops delivering laughs, surprises and unexpectedly touching moments. I had more fun watching "The Matador" than almost any other film from 2005. It is a wacky film with an unforgettable character, played to perfection by Pierce Brosnan.
Julian Noble (Brosnan) is a facilitator (hit-man) who specializes in high-end corporate gigs (assassinating rich dudes). He is also experiencing something akin to a mid-life crisis. After coming to realization that he has no real friends, no permanent home and no planned future, he stumbles into a Mexican hotel bar one night and runs into Danny Wright (Kinnear).
Danny is a down-on-his-luck family man who is on the verge of losing the big business deal that just might turn things around for him. He loves his wife dearly, especially so since they lost their young son a few years earlier.
The two men are chalk and cheese, hardly any common ground other than that they are in the same desolate bar one night. And somehow a conversation is struck that sets in to motion a chain of events that will change their lives forever.
The friendship they form reminded me a lot of Laurel and Hardy. One is the straight man and the other is the persistent fool who gets them into trouble. The interplay is superbly timed and finely tuned, due in no small part to the wonderful performances from Brosnan and Kinnear.
But make no mistake... This is Brosnan's film. He imprints one of the most memorable and despicably likable characters of the decade. He could shoot your mother and apologize immediately thereafter and you'd probably forgive him. Brosnan may be cinema's ultimate charmer, but this is his most endearing and complete performance to date. I wouldn't be averse to seeing an Oscar nod for this role.
Consider one scene where he overtly ogles a high-school girl with the impurest of thoughts and utters the line, "All blushy blushy... No sucky fucky". He does it with the familiar Bond smirk and manages to get away with it. He manages to tell a young boy, "Tell your mother to lose 30lbs and 20 years. Then get back to me" without coming across as unlikable. In fact, it makes us like him even more.
And yet the film manages to surprise us with some truly touching scenes, most of which come toward the end when the film takes some unpredictable turns. However, when Julian thumbs through his little black book to find someone to call on his birthday, or when Danny and his wife (Davis) console each other in their bedroom one night, the film reaches an unexpected depth of emotion.
"The Matador" is stylish and energetic. It is constantly entertaining. And it contains a career-defining role for Brosnan as the lonely hit-man looking for normalcy, friendship and a means to do at least one good thing in his life. This is an overlooked gem in 2005 and you should make an effort to see this film as soon as possible.
TC Candler of IndependentCritics.com
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