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In this suspiciously formulaic oddball buddy comedy, a disclosure of a pivotal central plot development reveals its sly sleight of hand in writing a touching tale of an unlikely friendship between a dysfunctional hitman and a hard-luck businessman.
Pierce's first comic effort after Bond and Kinnear doing American Guy and Husband as he does best. Hope Davis is flawless.
I’ve seen other movies that take the character of a hitman and try to create comedy through making that life seem mundane and ordinary. It’s always a great formula, because the occupation of killing people is completely outside the norm, so to see it treated as normal is a funny juxtaposition. The Matador attempted a new twist on this formula, though, and I loved it. In this film the contract killing remains a heightened and crazy thing done by a man who is completely abnormal, but they make the character lonely, so he attempts to become friends with someone who is totally ordinary. The casting might be the most inspired thing in The Matador. Pierce Brosnan has so much experience playing the larger than life role of a dangerous killer from his stint as James Bond, so all he needs to do here is eliminate some of the social graces that make that character fit in. Likewise, there is no one I can think of that is better at playing a boring, everyday, average guy than Greg Kinnear. They are both locked into these roles to such a degree that it feels like they’ve walked out of two separate movies. The collision of these two worlds is good for a lot of laughs. I like how Brosnan’s character can swing from super-serious to flippant on a dime, and that Kinnear is jarred by this behavior. The Matador also has a surprising amount of heart to the story. There is history for both of these characters, and that deepens the emotional impact of the film. The structure of the plot is smart, and they managed to surprise me a few times. I was impressed with the subtle way they manipulated me into believing one thing happened, and then twisting it just enough to take me off guard and question what actually occurred. That being said, I kept expecting something bigger for the climax, and that never happened. The film ends in a way that is satisfying, but since I anticipated a big action sequence or a shocking surprise, it was a tad underwhelming. The entire film is rather small and simple. In fact, you could almost make this into a stage play considering how few actors there are in the film, and the amount of things that happen off-camera. The Matador delivered laughs and a quality story, so despite any quibbles I would recommend it to others.
Mist boring shit I've seen in a long time...
Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear are two pro actors who work wonderfully together, totally believable and captivating. Loved seeing Brosnan in a non-stereotype role. Great movie, not just a dude flick. Loved it from start to finish.
It's good movie to watch
The Matador was released in 2005, written and directed by Richard Shepard. The film is a dark comedy and stars Pierce Brosnan as the unstable hitman, Julian Noble. Greg Kinnear plays Danny Wright, a bookish businessman, who is down on his luck. On a business trip to Mexico, the pair cross paths and form a bizarre friendship held together only by how different the two are from one another.
Unfortunately, I never felt that the movie was as funny as it wanted to be. The movie goes to great length to emphasize just how strange and eccentric Julian is, but he never actually did anything that made me believe that. At most he came off as a little quirky. The whole movie felt like that; a lot of talk, but it never delivered any rewarding moments. There are a few scenes that start out with a Coen-esque level of energy, but then fizzle out. The dialogue is not particularly witty, and the two main characters don't even have very interesting dialogue with one another. It all just lacks a certain level of exaggeration to make it work as well as it wants too.
The plot also lacks a lot of energy. There's no real conflict that moves the story along. The film just plods along from one day to the next and feels a little too slow. This slows down the comedic elements and the pace of the movie, and just makes the movie feel too loose and unrefined.
The acting, however, is great in the film. The small cast size makes these top-notch actors shine. Greg Kinnear does a good job of being this timid businessman, but Pierce Brosnan is absolutely front and center in his role. Every scene Pierce Brosnan is in you can tell he is giving it his all, and he is by far the most interesting thing in this film.
This was not a bad film, but it was certainly not as good as it could have been or as good as it wanted to be. The cast does a hard job of trying to bring a lot of life to characters that are otherwise disappointingly unoriginal, and they have some success. But, for a majority of the film I was left wishing that I was having more fun and that I was laughing more. The whole thing just felt too flat.
It's surprisingly low-key for an "action-comedy" (if it should even be called that) and it's full of surprising plot choices that opt for a more conversational tone than obvious jokes. Brosnan is so, so good in this role . . . just cartoonish enough to be amusing and then measured exactly when he needs to be.
Quirky fun thriller with big,big performances from both Kinnear and Brosnan.
gr8 another lost review from flixter