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The Matador (2005)
USA / English
"A hitman and a salesman walk into a bar... "
A globetrotting hitman and a crestfallen businessman meet in a hotel bar in Mexico City in an encounter that draws them together in a way neither expected.
Pierce Brosnan Julian Noble
Arlin Miller Radio DJ (voice)
Azucena Medina Young Denver Fling
Jonah Meyerson Ten Year Old Boy
Wiveca Bonerais Ten Year Old Boy's Mother
Greg Kinnear Danny Wright
Hope Davis Carolyn 'Bean' Wright
Adam Scott Phil Garrison
Portia Dawson Genevive
Roberto Sosa Skinny Mexican Man
Antonio Zavala Hotel Bartender 1
Ramon Alvarez Shooting Stand Owner
Luz Maria Molina School Girl
Philip Baker Hall Mr. Randy
Carolyn Horwitz Cantina Turista #1
Director: Richard Shepard
Producer: Pierce Brosnan,Bryan Furst,Sean Furst,Beau St. Clair
Writer: Richard Shepard
Surprise performance by Pierce Brosnan in a touching film about friendship...
The Matador is a drama with some elements of thriller and comedy. I stress that it's a drama because the stuff about a hit-man killing people is there, but not the focus. Neither are the occasional moments of humor. The movie is a drama with a story about an unusual friendship. In the center is Julian Noble. He has spent most of his adult life as a hit-man, going from place to place around the world to do what he is asked. He drinks when he has the chance and satisfies his sexual desires with anyone of any age and gender. At the same time, he has been in the game too long. He's at the point where he discovers what is missing: companionship. Despite having a list of hookers and other people in his personal phone book, none of them want to talk to him.

Besides the character's multiple dimensions, I was also amazed by the fact that Julian Noble was played by Pierce Brosnan, the actor who's now done with playing the suave and sophisticated fictional spy the world knows so well. What many people are saying is true. Pierce Brosnan plays a character who is the opposite of James Bond and does it well. He doesn't sink into the character so deeply that he's totally unrecognizable, but sinks into it enough. You can still recognize his familiar face behind the mustache in this movie, but what makes him successfully move onto different movie roles is his ability to play any kind of character.

The story involves a meeting of two people from different worlds. Julian Noble is the hit-man whose latest job takes him to Mexico City. Greg Kinnear is Danny Wright, a businessman who goes to Mexico City to negotiate a business deal. Their meeting in a bar is like any typical chance encounter between two strangers. What keeps them talking, however, is Julian's attempt to form a friendship he's never had before. It leads to another male bonding moment at a bullfight. This is where Danny finally learns what Julian's line of work is. This is also the last moment where one thinks of Pierce Brosnan and James Bond. When Danny guesses that Julian might be a government official or spy, Julian denies it.

As the story moves along in Mexico City and in the United States six months later, the two men become friends despite the contrasting occupations. Their relationship involves both envy and sympathy. Julian appreciates Danny's luck in having a wife to live with. As for Julian, the loner, Danny cares enough to let him stay in his house. It doesn't matter that Julian is a hit-man. He is still a human being with feelings and emotions, even though he's buried them for so long. I thought it was amusing that Danny grows a mustache similar to Julian's for the later scenes in the movie. It's as if Danny is beginning to step into Julian's shoes, just as it is happening the other way around.

Overall, I liked The Matador for its originality. It's one of those movies where you are told the basic plot, and your prediction of the movie is way off from what really happens. I also give points for a script that really explores who these characters are and how they interact with each other. Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis, who played Danny's wife, play their supporting roles well. As for Pierce Brosnan's performance, he definitely deserved at least a Golden Globe nomination. I was amazed to see him be someone other than Agent 007. If Brosnan had desire to leave that role behind, he got his wish with this movie.

Seen it:Nej
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:Divx 4
Imdb rating: 7.0
Musician: Rolfe Kent
Running time: 96 min
Everything else:
Last modified: 2007-07-18 22:31:3