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Overall Rating
3.83

Awesome: 3.39%
Worth A Look84.75%
Average: 5.08%
Pretty Bad: 5.08%
Total Crap: 1.69%

7 reviews, 17 user ratings


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Matador, The
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"I never knew Pierce Brosnan could be this damn funny. Seriously!"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2005 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: There's nothing like watching an actor you admire as he (or she) tries something new ... and succeeds with flying colors. It's supremely entertaining to watch a guy like Bill Murray transition from "goofy" comedy to heartfelt dramatic work - and damn if it's not a whole lot of fun to watch Pierce Brosnan cut loose and make with the funny.

Sure, sure, Pierce Brosnan has done a few comedies in his time: Laws of Attraction gave the guy an easy-fit rom-com in which to ply his wares, and Brosnan delivered a smoothly charming performance -- even if the movie wasn't all that hot. And yeah, Brosnan was also in one of the most successful comedies ever made when he made the mistake of wooing Mrs. Doubtfire's estranged wife ... but all you really remember of Pierce's performance is how he got bonked in the head with a piece of fruit.

Nope, Mr. Brosnan is generally known as a suave and somewhat soft-spoken guy, whether he's playing James Bond or a guy running away from a volcanic eruption. (OK, so I like Dante's Peak; sue me.) And it's that long-standing image of Pierce Brosnan that makes his performance in The Matador such an enjoyable treat.

Brosnan plays a no-nonsense assassin by the name of Julian Noble, but this is not the sly & stoic sort of assassin you'd normally expect from this actor. In only the first few minutes of The Matador, as the actor hurls some nasty insults at a particularly nosy little boy, you can tell you're in for something a little bit ... different. Noble is a true professional at his craft, a lone wolf killer with no conscience and no personal connections. Noble is also, after so many years handling the same old assignments, stuck in the grips of a deep, dark depression and a mid-life crisis as wide as the sky.

While on assignment in Mexico City, Julian strikes up a businesslike friendship with an American guy named Danny. Played by Greg Kinnear, Danny is a likable upper-middle-class nobody who, of course, has no idea that his new drinking buddy is a world-class assassin. Not yet, anyway.

To go into much further detail would rob you of The Matador's numerous surprises, and since I have no idea how much of the movie will be "spoilered" by its upcoming trailers, I'll just leave my plot description vague. Suffice to say that Julian gets Danny involved in all sorts of scrapes that involve all sorts of guns.

The writer/director is Richard Shepard, a filmmaker who's banged out more than a few cable-flick and direct-to-video obscurities -- but it only takes about 10 minutes of The Matador before you realize you're dealing with a pretty talented moviemaker. The Matador is awash with bright, vibrant colors; the slick story just slides along with confidence and style; the action-type moments are dramatic and fairly exciting, and the interplay between Kinnear and Brosnan goes from "enjoyably normal" to "bizarrely endearing" -- and in the end you have one of the most satisfying "guy movie" duos since De Niro and Grodin paired up for Midnight Run.

"The Matador" is an arch and offbeat comedy and an assassination thriller rolled into one. It's got two great leads who have a fantastic chemistry together, and it throws in a rock-solid supporting performance by Hope Davis for no extra charge. Unlikely that "The Matador" will prove to be a box office sensation of any sort, but those who are always on the lookout for something a little bit strange and a little bit sweet, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for this one. At the very least you'll never again look at Pierce Brosnan as "just that James Bond guy."

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11263&reviewer=128
originally posted: 05/28/05 21:32:00
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User Comments

9/06/08 PAUL SHORTT COMES ACROSS AS A SOMEWHAT INCOHERENT STORY TOLD BY A STRANGER IN A HOTEL LOBBY BAR 1 stars
5/14/07 matt absolute crap. totally mismarketed and boring as all hell. and gay undertones? 2 stars
9/13/06 Brinzan Dumitru Nice to see Brosnan outside the "Bond" suit. The duo Brosnan-Kinnear is very enjoyable! 4 stars
9/09/06 Ariel Patience pays off: once we got to the end, we decided it was worthy of a second watch. 5 stars
9/07/06 Albert I had a good time with this flick.. 4 stars
8/13/06 Indrid Cold Pointless and awkward. I didn't notice until now, but Brosnan isn't that great of an actor 3 stars
7/16/06 Phil M. Aficionado Different and thoroughly enjoyable; Brosnan does an outstanding job 4 stars
7/13/06 ad surprisingly good and funny 4 stars
7/12/06 Rick Great movie; Brosnan was fantastic, and I loved the ending. 5 stars
7/10/06 matt starts out great, but slow pacing and no story. not enough action or comedy 3 stars
7/05/06 Caiphn Witty banter gets tired quick. I'm at a loss how this got such consistantly good reviews. 2 stars
3/14/06 Laura Very funny; highly quotable. Definately worth seeing! 4 stars
2/07/06 Elizabeth S Great interplay between Brosnan and Kinnear. Not quite as funny as expected. 3 stars
1/30/06 Negman Weak characterization leading to anti-climax 2 stars
1/29/06 ajay very funny. certainly worth a look. 4 stars
1/25/06 Ole Man Bourbon Really silly, but a lot of giggles. 4 stars
1/25/06 Mike V First time I've ever REALLY liked a Pierce Brosnan performance. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Dec-2005 (R)
  DVD: 04-Jul-2006

UK
  24-Feb-2006 (15)

Australia
  07-Sep-2006




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