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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.39%
Worth A Look84.75%
Just Average: 5.08%
Pretty Crappy: 5.08%
Sucks: 1.69%

7 reviews, 17 user ratings

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Matador, The
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by Matt Seaver

"'I'm sorry, Mr. Bond, your bad movies have been WIPED OFF THE EARTH!'"
4 stars

If there were a category at some award show for "Best Breakout Performance by an Actor Who Has Worked Successfully for Nearly 30 Years," Pierce Brosnan would OWN that category this year. With this, he firmly severs his ties with the 007 series, and probably betters his reputation because of it.

This felt very much like Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang to me, which isn't at all a bad thing, because I loved that movie, too. It's got this not-quite-independent feel to it, but it's small enough to make festival circuits and to slip under the rader of a lot of people. Sad for them. This is a very funny, very dark little movie.

Pierce Brosnan plays the anti-Bond Julian Noble, who is an unforgiving hitman who is starting to question what it is he's doing with his life as his skills begin to give way. He meets Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) in Mexico while Wright is on a business trip, and after a long exchange in the bar, the two become cautious friends. This is a great dynamic since they couldn't be any more different. After Wright heads home, Noble shows up on his doorstep asking for help with a job. Naturally, this doesn't sit well with the straight-laced, uptight Wright... but he owes Noble. One can only imagine what for.

This is Brosnan's movie. He owns it, he loves it, he wallows in the rottenness. It must have been such a relief to get away from the formulaic spy crap that had been lingering over the Bond series, and that he had taken primary blame for - I didn't like him as Bond, but I certainly didn't think it was entirely his fault as some people did - but he washes all of it away here. Julian is a killer. He likes (or liked) doing it. There aren't perks like Bond had. This is just a cheap thrill. Brosnan very skillfully shows that breakdown from enjoying his job to cowering in fear and self-pity... quite the change from anything Bond ever would have done. And you know what? Brosnan is better at this sort of thing.

Greg Kinnear is here too, and does a good job, but he graciously bows to Brosnan for this one. Kinnear recognizes whose movie this is, and fills out the film where Brosnan cannot. As Noble breaks down, Wright has such a buildup of intensity and insanity that the eventual blowout is so well worth it. The other great thing that I can remember was the soundtrack, featuring nothing I'd ever heard before, but each track fit the featured scene so well that it stuck with me.

If you missed this one, you missed out. The DVD is due out next month, so pick it up. It's a lot of fun, and it will wash "The World is Not Gold Enough to Never Die Another Tomorrow" right out of your mind. You can thank me later.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11263&reviewer=412
originally posted: 04/01/06 01:05:43
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User Comments

5/14/07 matt absolute crap. totally mismarketed and boring as all hell. and gay undertones? 2 stars
9/13/06 Brinzan Dumitru Nice to see Brosnan outside the "Bond" suit. The duo Brosnan-Kinnear is very enjoyable! 4 stars
9/08/06 Ariel Patience pays off: once we got to the end, we decided it was worthy of a second watch. 5 stars
9/06/06 Albert I had a good time with this flick.. 4 stars
8/12/06 Indrid Cold Pointless and awkward. I didn't notice until now, but Brosnan isn't that great of an actor 3 stars
7/16/06 Phil M. Aficionado Different and thoroughly enjoyable; Brosnan does an outstanding job 4 stars
7/12/06 ad surprisingly good and funny 4 stars
7/11/06 Rick Great movie; Brosnan was fantastic, and I loved the ending. 5 stars
7/09/06 matt starts out great, but slow pacing and no story. not enough action or comedy 3 stars
7/04/06 Caiphn Witty banter gets tired quick. I'm at a loss how this got such consistantly good reviews. 2 stars
3/13/06 Laura Very funny; highly quotable. Definately worth seeing! 4 stars
2/06/06 Elizabeth S Great interplay between Brosnan and Kinnear. Not quite as funny as expected. 3 stars
1/29/06 Negman Weak characterization leading to anti-climax 2 stars
1/28/06 ajay very funny. certainly worth a look. 4 stars
1/24/06 Ole Man Bourbon Really silly, but a lot of giggles. 4 stars
1/24/06 Mike V First time I've ever REALLY liked a Pierce Brosnan performance. 4 stars
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  30-Dec-2005 (R)
  DVD: 04-Jul-2006

  24-Feb-2006 (15)


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