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The Matador

James Bond meets The Day of the Jackal meets Fargo. Sounds strange, I know but watching four-time Bond actor Pierce Brosnan play a tired assassin is a strange thing to imagine. But, Brosnan does not let that stand in his way of making the role his own…he really seems to have fun with his character here. This is a dark comedy but much of the comedy is pretty light. I mean, unlike Fargo, this one does not use the murders as a source of the humor. The humor comes from the characters’ unusual personalities, especially Brosnan’s. Plot is simple here: a down-and-out businessman meets a down-and-out hit man in Mexico City where both are on business…Brosnan for a hit and Greg Kinnear’s businessman for a career-make-or-break client. They strike up a conversation which leads to a camaraderie which leads to a close friendship. These are both are hard-to-read people. On the exterior, it seems like it’s just Brosnan’s character who is the complicated one (he covers his complications with wisecracks, swearing, and liquor), but Kinnear’s complicatedness comes out slowly and more subtly throughout the film. I mean, Brosnan practically has a nervous breakdown in the middle of the film. But, the Kinnear character is just as fragile as Brosnan is. It’s a hard movie to describe because it has so many levels but what I can describe is that I enjoyed it tremendously.

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