The Matador

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner25/10/2005

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Extremely enjoyable, superbly written comedy drama with a terrific comic performance from Pierce Brosnan.

The Background
The Matador is written and directed by Richard Shepard, an off-the-radar, low-budget independent director who suddenly found himself in a dream position when Pierce Brosnan decided to produce and star in his movie. Shepard is now in the position to pick his projects after The Matador picked up rave reviews and a distribution deal at Sundance.

The Story
Pierce Brosnan stars as Julian Noble, a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, womanising hit-man who travels all over the globe to do his corporate gigs. On a trip to Mexico City, Julian flips out and finds himself on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It is at that point that he meets Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear), a unlucky businessman hoping to land an important deal, and the two men become unlikely friends.

The Good
The Matador concentrates on character and dialogue despite a premise that seems to practically guarantee action of some kind. What emerges is a film about friendship, albeit a very unusual friendship, and Shepard fills the screen with bright, rich colours in order to keep the film visually interesting during the frequently hilarious dialogue.

The Great
The performances are wonderful and Brosnan relishes the chance to play such an outrageous character. He also gets all the funny lines and there are some terrific laugh-out-loud moments.

Kinnear is extremely likeable as perpetual nice-guy Danny and he’s the perfect foil for Brosnan, while Hope Davis is on top form as Danny’s wife, Bean. Her tipsy scene and her swearing scene are just two of the film’s many highlights.

The Conclusion
In short, The Matador is an engaging black comedy that is frequently hilarious and it is definitely worth seeing for Brosnan’s performance alone. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

The Matador
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Content updated: 17/10/2019 00:00

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