The Matador (2005)

RICHARD SHEPARD

Bil’s rating (out of 5):    B.5.  USA/Germany/Ireland, 2005.  Stratus Film Co., DEJ Productions, Equity Pictures Medienfonds GmbH & Co. KG II, Furst Films, Irish DreamTime, Yari Film Group.  Screenplay by Richard Shepard.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Golden Globe Awards 2005.  Toronto International Film Festival 2005.  

Great characters and strong performances are wasted by lame direction in this gross misfire. While visiting Mexico to secure an important business deal and get his life back on track, Greg Kinnear meets a mouthy drunk () in the hotel bar who reveals to him that he is a professional assassin. They become close friends and possibly cohorts, a relationship that Kinnear doesn’t expect to continue until Brosnan shows up at his doorstep six months later in the middle of the night. While Kinnear’s wife () is thoroughly enchanted by the danger of having a hit man in her house, Kinnear knows that Brosnan wants something from him. It turns out he does, begging Kinnear to help him out with, what else, one last job before retirement. Brosnan effectively kicks his James Bond persona out the window and for once doesn’t act like he’s in a cologne commercial, but Richard Shepard’s pacing has no movement to it; the whole thing feels like it is being set up for another movie. The screenplay is full of witty dialogue but it, along with the great work by the actors, hangs loosely in the air with no form or purpose.

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