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
"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 »
"Just consider me the best cocktail party story you ever met."
Star / producer Pierce Brosnan exercises his comedic chops in this rather nuanced look at the life and career of a veteran hitman. Julian Noble (Brosnan) meets a struggling businessman, Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) when their paths cross in Mexico City. The two become good friends - better friends than we even realize at first, because after Julian has botched more than one job, he becomes a dead man walking. And it is Danny to whom he turns for help. While Danny and his wife "Bean" (Hope Davis) are understandably dismayed at the presence of a professional killer in their home, they get over it, becoming rather intrigued by this charming, eccentric individual.
The supporting cast features some solid actors - Philip Baker Hall, Dylan Baker, Adam Scott - and Davis is enchanting as the loving wife, but the main reason that "The Matador" works as well as it does is due to the interplay between two interesting characters. Brosnan and Kinnear play this extremely well; indeed, Brosnan has never been quite this endearing or amusing before. Also, "The Matador" is a highly offbeat affair, foregoing some of the trappings that one might expect from a tale about a hitman. It forgets about violence (for the most part) and action set pieces, concentrating on its poignant moments and its humour.
Written and directed by the talented Richard Shepard, "The Matador" spends some time globe trotting and offering up some international locales. The title stems from Julians' enjoyment of watching bullfights, and belief that the spectacle is not without honour. The struggle of our haunted main character to overcome his mental blocks and emotional problems does make him vulnerable, and certainly as likeable as any person could be who earns their living killing people.
The brief sight of Brosnan in a cheerleaders' outfit is absolutely priceless. He'd made a good living playing debonair types, but here he really cuts loose for once, and the film is all the better for it. But this is not meant to sell Kinnear short, as he does an excellent job at playing the "straight man" with a tragic past and uncertain present.
Seven out of 10.
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