I have to tell you, this movie was a breath of fresh air. I’ve always been a Pierce Brosnan fan, but even I had to admit he tended to play the same type of character. Cool under pressure. Suave. Debonair. Always straddling the line between hero and anti-hero. And while I’ve never considered Brosnan an exceptional actor, I certainly appreciated the charm and magnanimity he oozes through the silver screen.
Well, I’m happy to admit that with The Matador, we have all of Brosnan’s positive attributes, but this time, the man is playing against type, and he’s doing it expertly. Oh sure, he’s still a lady-killer, but this time it’s sometimes literal as he is a paid assassin knocking off corporate types. Brosnan is sometimes suave and calculating, but he’s also sometimes cracking up and buckling under the pressure from a lifetime of taking lives. Eccentric is an understatement for Brosnan’s character, Julian Noble. It is truly a pleasure to watch Brosnan go out on a limb and succeed in playing an imperfect and memorable character.
Greg Kinnear plays an unlikely friend of Brosnan as the two happen to bump into each other and become chums in Mexico City. Kinnear is a down on his luck businessman, and after many lies on Brosnan’s part, the two finally bond. In fact, when Brosnan finds himself in trouble, it is Kinnear and his vanilla life that Brosnan goes running to for help.
A truly quirky film, I cannot recommend The Matador enough. It has the sort of dark comedy aspects of a Grosse Pointe Blank, yet at times there existed truly deep characterization and somewhat dramatic moments. On top of that, the camera angles, locations, and overall style are a joy.
Give this one a shot (no pun intended). You’ll never see Brosnan the same way again.