The Matador

January 28, 2006 - Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear strike up an unlikely friendship in this 2005 comedy/drama from writer/director Richard Shepard. He gave the actors material to work with and they made it work.

Brosnan plays Julian Noble, a hit man - a facilitator of fatalities, as he puts it - on the edge of being burned out. Kinnear is Danny Wright, a businessman on the edge of being wiped out. They meet in Mexico City, where Wright is trying to close a big deal and Noble is on assignment.

Noble is an odd character. He realizes that he has no friends, but when Wright shares an important part of his life, Noble responds with a highly inappropriate penis joke. Noble seems to have a fascination with the phallus, using crude euphemisms to talk about intercourse and leaving the impression that he doesn't mind a bit of boy on the side.

Anyway, the two part company. But, about six months later, Noble shows up on Wright's doorstep, begging for help. This time, he's the target. Wright isn't too sure about helping until Noble reminds Wright that "you owe me."

Overall review: *** Brosnan is a middle-aged man and he's not afraid to look like one in this movie. At one point, he struts his stuff through a hotel lobby wearing only tight briefs and boots. Despite his penchant for sex jokes, you can't help but like this guy. Kinnear is also good, and they're given a script that's full of surprises. Just when you think you know what will happen or what has happened, you find out differently. I think the movie may be a little too off-beat to rate four stars, but I liked it a lot.