Directed by: Richard Shepard
Premise: Julian (Pierce Brosnan), a hit man on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and Danny (Greg Kinnear), a businessman, become fast friends after a chance meeting in a bar. Julian comes to Danny for help after his breakdown gets worse and it threatens his life.
What Works: The Matador is a dark but hilarious comedy. Brosnan has not often been given a chance to do comedy, but this film lets him really cut loose with some great dialogue and off the wall antics. His performance really makes the film. Kinnear is good as well, and he is the audience’s guide into this world of violence. Amidst the comedy, the film is able to bring up some relevant issues about the life of violence that Julian leads and its toll on his psyche. In this way, The Matador is far more successful than most other films in this genre.
What Doesn’t: The ending of The Matador is a little short and does not fulfill expectations. It lets Julian and Danny off the hook a little too easily. There is a sense that some conflict is brewing between Danny and his wife (Hope Davis) but the film never gets there.
DVD extras: Commentary tracks, deleted and extended scenes, featurettes, trailer, TV spots.
Bottom Line: The Matador is a fun film that matches wit with raunchy humor. It is similar to Match Point in some ways, but this story is more audacious and over the top.
Episode: #105 (August 6, 2006)