Saturday, 12 June 2010

No.38 : The Matador

Pierce Brosnan tries to shed his James Bond image with a role as a hard drinking, hard shagging assassin with indifferent results.

Brosnan basically plays an exaggerated version of Bond but with an oh so important moustache. He kills various business and political figures without a second thought through his handler, The Library Detective off ‘Seinfeld’. He enjoys his mojiotos, which is useful seeing as the whole film was filmed in Mexico City despite the various clumsy graphics that pop up denoting different cities around the world.

His world is coming apart however and after a botched hit he starts to wonder if he’s next on the hit list. Meanwhile businessman Greg Kinnear has problems of his own as his important business deal is about to go down the pan. He’s also in mouring for his dead son and his relationship with wife, Hope Davis , is showing the strain.

Our two heroes paths collide and after a bonding session at a bullfight they have decisions to make. The film then jumps six months into the future as Brosnan turns up at Kinnear’s snowy Denver home. He’s on the run from his handlers and looking for a return favour. Did he do Kinnear a turn to get his pivotal business deal through and can the favour be returned to save Brosnan’s ever shakier, but still pumping ass?

On first looks this film seems a bit slight. Essentially it’s a two way show between two middle aged men with crisisies in their business and family lives. Obviously the hit man angle spices things up a bit but given we get to see only a couple of actual hits this isn’t really going to win the film pass marks. Brosnan does his best to go against type and parades quite happily in his pants and cow boy boots while getting it on doggy style with several ladies.

His character is quite fun although not entirely believable. Someone so erratic and flamboyant wouldn’t last five minutes without gaining the attentions of the authorities but you tend to overlook this when you sign up for the fun ride the film offers. Kinnear on the other hand does his usual shtick of being the slightly off kilter everyman and is an able foil to Brosnan. I don’t think I’ve seen a bad Greg Kinnear film and he does his usual solid work here.

The film really hits its stride after the bullfight and the two protagonists are pulled from their lives and have to rely on each other. The final scenes and acts are off camera and we’re left to wonder who did what to whom.

The film is a pretty tight 90 minutes and although not a lot happens it does offer two good performances in a shady world with plenty of dark laughs along the way. I’d maybe have liked a bit more action and less chat but Brosnan was good fun and the script was witty and peppered with enough lovely ladies to keep things humming along.

It’s maybe not a classic that’ll live long in the memory but as an exercise in exorcising Bond’s sharp one liners and off screen sexual acrobatics it’s well worth a look.

THE Tag Line : No Bull - Matador Worth Seeing

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