This hip and hilarious dark comedy finds boorish, on-the-job hit man Julian Noble (Pierce Brosnan) in a Mexico City cantina where he meets mild-mannered Denver businessman Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear), both of whom are at a... more » crossroads in their lives and careers. Over too many margaritas, they form a strange friendship built on the dark and drunken honesty shared among strangers who believe they will never see each other in the light of day. However, months later, back in Denver, the doorbell rings at the Wright residence, and Danny and his wife Bean (Hope Davis) find Julian on their doorstep, a desperate, broken man. What else can they do, but to take him in?« less
Quite enjoyable with actors Brosnan and Kinnear, both of which I really like. You see a side of both of them different from their other movies but it made the movie interesting and unpredictable. Definitely worth a watch! Not for kids since Brosnan has some scenes, language and discussions not suitable for children.
S A A. (Learned2Heal) Reviewed on 10/26/2008...
I can't believe there are so many copies of this truly awesome movie available... You guys/gals are really missing out!
Although I truly abhorr bullfights and the like, I do love the character portrayed by Pierce Brosnan, as the somewhat seedy, often humorous, pretty crude, off-his-game hitman. Gives me a whole new respect for Pierce Brosnan. Waaay better than all his over-scrubbed, oh-so-sleek James Bond/Remington Steel type personas. He truly makes this movie worth watching. He is totally mesmerizing and oh-so-funny in this role. Perfect comedic timing! It is his best role ever. Truly shows his acting ability.
Needless to add, Greg Kinear is always fun to have around.
Aside from all that, the plot is pretty original too. And there is a very cool twist at the end. What more could one ask for?
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Brosnan Completely Creeped Me Out ....It Was Wonderful!
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 02/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Think you know Pierce Brosnan as an actor? Think again. This film reveals him as the anti-James Bond, a creepy assassin who suddenly grows a conscience in his waning years. No more REMINGTON STEELE, no more 007. This guy needs a serious injection of scruples.
When Julian Noble (Brosnan) is assigned to "rub someone out," there's no hope for his target. That is until one day he's contracted to take out a man in Manila and has a nervous breakdown, ending up face-down in a pile of donkey dung.
Then we move on to/flashback to Mexico City, where Julian meets up with Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear, ), a down-on-his-luck businessman who tries to befriend Julian in the hotel bar. But Julian's antisocial behavior gets in the way often and nearly forces Danny away. But they form a sort of twisted friendship and Julian takes Danny into his confidence while watching a bullfight and shows him how to function as a killer. Danny is both terrified and exhilarated.
Then, six months later, Julian shows up at Danny's house in Denver and ask for an impossible favor. ________________________________________________________________________________________
Brosnan deserves an Oscar for his performance as the confused and embattled assassin. I never, ever, ever saw Brosnan but always the character he was portraying. He completely creeped me out, even when some of his humanity returned.
Greg Kinnear was excellent as Brosnan's alter-ego, a Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes guy who needs an infusion of toughness to get his life back on track. The film is strange like that, too. Both men give some of themselves to the other, but in the process lose a portion of what they once were. For Brosnan's character, that was definitely a good thing all the way around, but for Kinnear's, we're not too sure.
The scenes filmed in Mexico were beautifully filmed, too. The shots of the colorful buildings, the huge stadium built for bullfighting, the cheesy bars, etc.
If you want to see a movie that'll tickle that dark funny bone, you couldn't go wrong here. Brosnan is masterful!"
Going In For The Kill
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 01/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Julian Noble (a witty, debauched, ironic Pierce Brosnan) is a hit-man for hire and at a crossroads in his life: after years of killing for money, bedding anything within sight and inhaling as much liquor as he can, Julian is having trouble carrying off his assignments. Has he developed a conscience? Is he bored? Does he no longer need the money? It's never really made clear but "The Matador" is one of those films in which the journey is much more fun and important than the destination. Along the way, Julian hooks up with a nebbish Danny Wright (a perfect Greg Kinnear) and Danny's wife (Hope Davis) both of whom hilariously accept Julian at face value: they are both excited and turned on by Julian's occupation and welcome him into their home for conversation, bourbon and pecan pie. Director Richard Shepard keeps a tight rein on the proceedings and though much of the action has to be seen to be believed, the film rarely bogs down in its own absurdity. The revelation of "The Matador" is of course Pierce Brosnan and, with this part, he once and for all sheds any notion in anyone's mind that he can only play James Bond. His Julian is paunchy, grizzled, graying and fun as hell to watch. "
Fantastic tale of a whacky friendship
- Kasia S. | New York City | 08/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now this is an unusual and quite enjoyable movie, with Pierce Brosnan like you've never seen before and with Greg Kinnear giving a hilarious and touching performance, best for both in a long time. I loved the quirky conversations, the no bs jokes, the bright color schemes, the glow of cardamom yellow, aqua and flame red in the background, flower beds and their drinks. This movie is full of flavor, shades and produces quite a few chuckles, but also has some nice moments that make it an enjoyable experience and gives a sense of satisfaction at the end.
Brosnan plays Julian Noble, an assassin that meets up with Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) in a bar in Mexico. Those two are as far from normal life style as possible in an exotic place; one just finished a "job" while the other has a semi successful business deal in the works. Julian finds out that it's his birthday and realizes he has no friends. As a secret killer, a hush hush man, he starts chatting with Danny at a bar and buys him a drink. The whole time the audience is made to wonder if he really wants to be friends or is Danny his next job. They talk and laugh, hit some rough spots, they get angry at each other, they laugh more, its back and forth like a husband and wife after thirty years of marriage. They argue all the time but they can't stay away from each other. They go to see a bull fight, that has a profound impact on their "friendship" when the bull fighter delivers the kill, Julian tells Danny who he is and what he does. He then proceeds to give him a hilarious demonstration of his talents.
I had a blast watching this, with fine performances from all the actors, witty dialog, jokes and offences, and scruffy, unshaven Brosnan, who paraded around in funky clothes and spoke words I never heard him utter. We watched him trot the globe form Budapest to Vienna, Mexico and Us to Danny's home and the trials and tabulations his failing career caused him. Once he's too tired to work, his midlife crisis hits him, he has no friends but Danny to help him out as his own boss it out to terminate the old dog, Julian himself. Half the fun was watching Kinnear and Brosnan collaborate, as they make a fine match, indescribable by words. It's a feast for the eyes and a holiday for my mind and a fun Thursday night movie to watch with someone close to share the laughs and gasps.
"Pierce Brosnan has previously played Remmington Steele and James Bond. In this film, he plays a hapless hit man who lost his nerve to kill. This black comedy takes a large poke at the Steele/Bond legends that Brosnan have already done and made famous. Brosnan does this satire with a flair
When he loses his nerve, he chats with a simple man in a bar (Greg Kinnear). Kinnear's character reminds me of Albert Brooks's character from the bad remake of the IN-Laws..that is where the similar ideas ends. He befriends Bronson in his hour of need
Kinnear's wife is played by Hope Davis. This role is most lifelike I have seen Davis act since she did the role of Joyce in the film American Spendor
To give away the end would spoil the fun..just get it and enjoy it yourself
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD"
Matthew C. Jensen | Port Washington, WI | 12/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie last October at the Milwaukee Film Festival with nearly 1,000 people (no joke) and the audience was laughing so hard; I missed parts of the movie. If you want a break from lions, apes, and wizards this is the movie to see."