Newest Reviews
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Woman at War
Newest Articles
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
  Matador, The Major Male MenopauseBuy this film here.
Year: 2005
Director: Richard Shepard
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis, Philip Baker Hall, Adam Scott, Dylan Baker
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Julian Noble (Pierce Brosnan) awakens to the sound of the clock radio alarm in yet another hotel room, with the young woman he spent the night with sleeping by his side. He lifts the sheet and examines her naked form, then notices the varnish on her toenails and decides he'd like some of that as well, so raids her handbag and applies a tasteful shade to his feet. Not the kind of behaviour you would expect from an international hitman which is how Julian makes his salary, but he is fast approaching his midlife crisis, and a businessman from Denver, Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear), might be just the chap to snap him out of it...

Pierce Brosnan produced The Matador as a vehicle for himself, and obviously as a move away from his most celebrated James Bond role. Although on closer examination, perhaps it was not all that far away, as if he was well aware of his limitations, for Julian is still a character who travels the world, beds beautiful women, and kills people for money. It's as if this is Bond as he would be hitting fifty, having reservations about an existence where he has lived hedonistically and parasitically, taking others' lives away to feed his own dubious entertaiments.

In contrast, Danny is a white collar worker who loves his wife Bean (Hope Davis) and is planning a big business deal that should see him find some security in his world, although as we see in his introductory scene, he is at the mercy of powers greater than his own when a bolt of lightning sends a tree crashing through his kitchen extension. Danny meets Julian on a trip to Mexico City where they both have a job to do, although Julian's is far more deadly than Danny's. Danny strikes up conversation at the bar, not knowing that the hitman is suffering a depression because it is his birthday today and he has no friends to celebrate it with.

They don't get off to a good start when, after breaking the ice, Danny admits to Julian that is and his wife are still getting over the death of their young son three years ago, to which the response is a dirty joke (which we never get the punchline of), sending Danny off insulted. Yet he has marked himself out as possible friend material, and soon they are both spending the day together, Danny worrying that his deal is about to fall through, Julian fretting about his next hit. The interesting thing about him is that while we can never be sure how truthful he is, one thing we are never in any doubt about is his capacity to kill, comparing himself to the matador of the title.

Brosnan, while apparently reluctant to settle on an accent, nevertheless employs his charm to a disreputable character with indulgently amusing effects, and Kinnear matches him with a neat portrayal of a pathetic in his own way ordinary Joe, making it through life while all too aware of how the safety net could be whipped away at any second. But while you do warm to these people, there's something immoral about director Richard Shepard's script which sees his leads literally get away with murder, and all for the sake of male friendship which is elevated to a pedestal, no matter what the influence on others. The Matador enjoys some wincingly funny dialogue, a nice line in ribaldry and a plot that keeps you guessing at where it will end up, and as a proving ground for Brosnan it showed he could carry a film away from Bond, but it finds emotional warmth in curious places you may not wish to accompany it to. Music by Rolfe Kent.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2184 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M


Last Updated: