Tuesday, February 07, 2006


THE MATADOR MOVIEPierce Brosnan Directed by Richard Shepard
Reviewed by Byron Merritt



Think you know Pierce Brosnan as an actor? Think again. This film reveals him as the anti-James Bond, a creepy assassin who suddenly grows a conscience in his waning years. No more REMINGTON STEELE, no more 007. This guy needs a serious injection of scruples.

When Julian Noble (Brosnan) is assigned to "rub someone out," there’s no hope for his target. That is until one day he’s contracted to take out a man in Manila and has a nervous breakdown, ending up face-down in a pile of donkey dung.

Then we move on to/flashback to Mexico City, where Julian meets up with Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, 1997), a down-on-his-luck businessman who tries to befriend Julian in the hotel bar. But Julian’s antisocial behavior gets in the way often and nearly forces Danny away. But they form a sort of twisted friendship and Julian takes Danny into his confidence while watching a bullfight and shows him how to function as a killer. Danny is both terrified and exhilarated.

Six months later, Julian shows up at Danny’s house in Denver and ask for an impossible favor.

Brosnan deserves an Oscar for his performance as the confused and embattled assassin. I never, ever, ever saw Brosnan but always the character he was portraying. He completely creeped me out, even when some of his humanity returned.

Greg Kinnear was excellent as Brosnan’s alter-ego, a Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes who needs an infusion of toughness to get his life back on track. The film is strange like that, too. Both men give some of themselves to the other, but in the process lose a portion of what they once were. For Brosnan’s character, that was definitely a good thing all the way around, but for Kinnear’s, we’re not too sure.

The scenes filmed in Mexico were beautifully filmed, too. The shots of the colorful buildings, the huge stadium built for bullfighting, the cheesy bars, etc.

If you want to see a movie that’ll tickle that dark funny bone, you couldn’t go wrong here. Brosnan is masterful!

Click here for The Matador movie trailer!


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