Friday, January 27, 2006

The Matador

Pierce Brosnan is funny. It’s been so many years since Remington Steele that I had forgotten how funny he could be. If The Tailor of Panama was a realistic take on his Bond character The Matador is the comedic take. Brosnan owns the screen in this nice little gem.

Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) is a struggling businessman who has traveled to Mexico with his business partner to try and put together a deal to save his livelihood. In the hotel bar one night he meets Julian Noble (Pierce Brosnan) an interesting but rather uncouth gentleman who buys him a drink. Aganist his better judgement Danny spends some time with Julian and learns what he does for a living. Julian is a hitman, though one who is beginning to lose his edge.

Time passes and Julian has botched another job so badly that his bosses have put a hit out on the hitman. With nowhere else to go he goes to stay with Danny and his wife Bean (Hope Davis) hoping to guilt Danny into helping to get him out of this mess and remind Danny of the favor he owes.

Brosnan is terrific as the friendless lone gunman who doesn’t really know how to act with people (his comments to Danny in the bar are hysterical!) Kinnear works well as a straight man to Brosnan’s antics and Davis, who I normally don’t like, is well cast as Danny’s wife. There are many small characters but the film rests on the odd couple relationship between Danny and Julian who aren’t quite friends but something more than strangers.

The movie skips around a little too much and could use one last edit as the film is slightly uneven in its tone. I also wasn’t a fan of the large full screen fonts in presenting a new location or story transition.

The Matador is a good comedy that allows Brosnan to go full out and give one hell of a performance. Though not great, I’d put this at the top of pretty good comedies of the year such as Waiting…, Cassanova, and The Weather Man, it’s definately worth checking out for a very different type of comedy than the usual Hollywood fare.

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