Monday, July 24, 2006
The Matador: Grade B
Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis. Dir=Richard Shepard
Brosnan gives an electrifying performance as a paunchy, grizzled, drunken, burned-out assassin having an existential crisis. This is not the monosyllabic James Bond, but a garrulous, vulgar, debauched character with enormous range of expression. It completely changes my opinion of Brosnan as an actor. Where has he been? One is tempted to credit director Shepard for drawing out such a stunning performance, but who knows what goes on in filmmaking.
PB meets businessman Kinnear in Mexico and they go to a bullfight together (implying that PB was once the “matador” of assassins) and form an unlikely and hilarious friendship. There is no overall story. A lot of themes and suggestions don’t go anywhere and some scenes don’t make any sense. There is no particular ending. It seems like either bad editing killed the story or good editing salvaged an incoherent mess. The result is worth looking at either way.