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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

The Matador  

Review: written 2006

Fading Hitman meets Mr Average-Joe

What a great find - a black comedy, of an unlikely relationship between bawdy hit man and Average-Joe businessman. The closest I can think of in terms of tone, is Grosse Pointe Blank. However, this is not a laugh out loud comedy of one liners, the comedy here is in seeing Pierce Brosnan playing so brilliantly against type. He wanted to ditch the James Bond tag, he's done it.

Music is fine and quirky, photography frequently imaginative - love the scene where we see Brosnan walking away in the wing mirror of a car. Best of all, the script is sharp, and full of black humour. The situation is surprisingly original, thanks in large part to the enthusiasm of the cast. Brosnan has been rightly praised for his bravery at being such a down and out drunken character, but Greg Kinnear is satisfyingly restrained and effective as the at first unbelieving businessman who becomes a confidante and friend, when the hitman has no-one else to turn to.

To say more, would spoil the plot. Not everyone will like this - the language is fruity to say the least, and there are brief explicit scenes, but for once this is entirely in keeping with the character and actually adds to the comedy.

Might not bear many repeated viewings, but will make a good rental for the open-minded.





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