Monday, February 20, 2006

eyeCandy: The Matador (2005) 4/5

I just finished watching The Matador, and I really liked it. The darkly comic storyline revolves around a hitman, or "fatality facilitator", Julian Noble (Pierce Brosnan), who has a chance meeting with a friendly businessman, Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear), in Mexico. Initially coy about his work, Julian ends up revealing to Danny over a bullfight exactly what it is he does in his life. Skepticism turns to fascination and the two share in conversation and antics until Danny heads home and Julian heads off to his next job. While all goes well with Danny, Julian quickly unravels and his failure to make his next hit ends with Julian himself as the target. The result is a late night arrival to the Wright residence by Mr. Noble, a turn of events which ends up being more than just a chance visit to whom Julian reveals is his only friend.

The movie is well written and provides some very funny dialog (Brosnan's ongoing one-liners are great, e.g. "I look like a Bangkok hooker on a Sunday morning after the navy's left town"), but the greatest pleasure in the Matador is watching Pierce Brosnan play so dramatically against type as a crass, manipulative hitman - no James Bond here (and you won't want to miss his notorious Speedo and boots scene)! The chemistry between Brosnan and Greg Kinnear is also a highlight, with the two sliding perfectly into their respective roles and working perfectly off one another.

The story takes a couple of unexpected turns (the biggest of which turns right back around again) but is generally straightforward and easy to follow. The focus on character exploration is appropriate and the 96 minute running time feels just right. Maybe this won't be the most memorable movie you'll ever see, but it's a solid and rewarding effort - a movie that knows what it is, what it wants to accomplish, and which goes about doing so without getting caught up in any excess. Great acting, funny dialog, and a solid story - sounds like a good movie to me! ;-)
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2/20/2006 09:18:00 p.m.  


Anonymous Amber Mac said...

Hey brother Jeff!

I know you just got to Sri Lanka, but when you have some time let us all know what it's like in Ampara Town ;).


March 15, 2006 6:36 p.m.  
Blogger ShanMac said...

Great review Jeff! I'm gonna have to watch that one.

March 27, 2006 10:42 p.m.  
Anonymous Rishabh said...

Yeah, gotta love this movie...

April 12, 2006 3:28 p.m.  

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