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The Matador
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The Matador – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Some people are just better off dead and Julian Noble (Brosnan) is paid big bucks to travel around the world and “facilitate the fatalities.”
While on a job in Mexico, the vain, cantankerous hitman finds himself chatting to — or rather, insulting — a mild-mannered businessman, Danny Wright (Kinnear), who’s there to pitch for a lucrative contract.
The two men form an unlikely bond, which is both challenged — and surprisingly strengthened — when Julian eventually reveals what he does.
Months later, with this brief holiday friendship back in the distant past, Danny is shocked when Julian turns up on his doorstep, begging for a roof for the night.
One too many jobs has gone wrong and his bosses now have a hit out on him. His necessarily isolated lifestyle has left him with neither a friend nor a home, so Danny and his house are the closest he comes to either.
Danny and his wife (Davis) are happy enough to let this dangerously exciting visitor stay for the night — Danny is less happy when Julian insists on taking him out on the proverbial “one last job.”

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Brosnan pulls out all the stops to put his clean-cut Bond image behind him, swearing and otherwise being generally uncouth, not to mention killing without a licence and without any feelings of guilt whatsoever.
What’s clever about this film is that it’s a highly enjoyable buddy movie, full of light-hearted and highly humorous moments, where the activity the buddies are involved in just happens to be murder.
Brosnan takes his diamond-thief character from After The Sunset to another level, with added violence and vulgarity, while retaining a boyish sense of cheekiness you can’t help but warm to.
Kinnear is the perfect foil for Brosnan’s eccentricities — his main problem is that he’s so efficient at playing understated and sympathetic supporting roles that his own talents can be taken for granted. They shouldn’t be.
This film is that rare example of a movie that’s unashamedly out to have fun with no pretentions – comparable, in that sense, to last year’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Its subject matter obviously takes it closer to the bone, but like a roller-coaster, the danger only adds to the satisfaction.

Opens nationwide 3rd March 2006

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