Should I feel a little bit guilty for having enjoyed this film? It’s not the greatest action movie around, it lacks special effects and car chases. Credibility is not really the strong argument of the story. We are asked and we end by sympathizing with a couple of guys who do very bad things. And yet The Matador produced and acted by Pierce Brosnan worked for me better than I expected.  Now I need to find why.




Julian Noble is a hitman and the most irregular guy on Earth. He kills people for money, has no home or even a fixed address, getting drunk and buying sex seem to be his only pass-times. Danny Wright is the most regular guy on Earth, a businessman from Denver, he does have a house and a beautiful and loving wife, but his professional and personal life seems to have entered in an unavoidable dead-end. Their getting together is an improbable event, the only less probable one being them becoming friends. Yet, this is exactly what happens in The Matador and their friendship takes a path that is unpredictable and hidden from the viewer or the viewer is sent to wrong tracks for much of the time.


(video source robotuku)


So why does the story written and directed by Richard Shepard work? One of the reasons is that each of the three characters has a lot to identify with. Of course, hard to resonate with the professional killer day job of Julian, but certainly easy to feel compassion for working permanently under pressure, getting tired of the accelerated (corporate!) pace, not getting a listening ear from your boss. With the other two characters (Danny and his wife) it’s much easier, they are like us, but here comes the second principal reason of my liking this film – acting. Both Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis not only give fine performances, but they are sincere and feel the roles. They are us, and make us understand that. Pierce Brosnan is nothing but perfect, this is the best role I saw him in, his switching acts from the cool killer to the lost kid in town, from cynicism to vulnerability are masterful and the comical register fits him as well as the James Bond jacket. Last reason, the film carries some problematic or bad ideas (friendship as a good excuse for killing for example) but also a great one – beware of what regular people can do when you push them with the back to the wall! Eventually the combination of these three arguments wins.