Screen » Film Reviews

El Matador

No golden gun here


Who ever said James Bond would never grow up? Oh wait ... that's Peter Pan. Nothing could have prepared me for what I thought was going to be an inferior attempt at another Big Lebowski starring Remington Steele. My assumptions could not have further missed the mark. This delightfully dark tale about a "facilitator of fatalities," or hit man in laymen's terms, puts Pierce Brosnan’s career further out on the line then Bob Saget's appearance in Half Baked. Brosnan perfectly portrays Julian Noble, a hired gun who, after years of fast money and faster women, has finally lost his edge in the business.

From director Richard Shepard, generally known for his dramatic criminal dramas, The Matador has given Brosnan a chance to stretch his boundaries as an actor and escape the suave charming character of his past. This film fluctuates from dark comedy to buddy movie abruptly as Danny Wright, played by Greg Kinnear (Stuck on You, As Good as it Gets), involuntarily steps into Julian Noble's life after sharing an uncomfortable conversation at a hotel bar in Mexico City.

This odd couple feeling only intensifies throughout the movie as Julian finally admits to Danny what he does for a living and how he does it. You can't help but feel sorry for Kinnear's character. He's the less-than-exciting husband who does not seem to be able to get a break in life who has befriended a hopeless assassin. Hope Davis (Hearts in Atlantis) does an outstanding job as Carolyn “Bean” Wright, Danny’s spouse, whose sheepish attitude and obnoxious sex scenes adds a certain realism to the entire film.

If you don't think you'll be able to stand the strings of obscenities and untactful dialogue literally pouring out of Pierce Brosnan’s mouth, then I would not recommend this movie. Instead go see Zathura, my mom would love the company.

The Matador, rated R.