The Matador

Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear in a buddy/black comedy. This was even funnier than After the Sunset (which was a fantastic movie though), and I think Brosnan and Kinnear have a slightly better chemistry than Brosnan had with Woody Harrelson. The only bad thing about the movie is some slight implausibility’s in the story (it’s surprisingly easy to kill people) and a joke without a punch line:

Two Mexicans walk into a cantina. One of them is a midget and the other has a 15 inch penis. The midget says to the bartender, “They call my amigo here the Human Swizzle Stick. Want to know what they call me?”

They never tell us the punch line! I hate them! Of course, this is the farthest thing from a good excuse to avoid this movie…it’s absolutely fantastic. Hilarious and touching, this off-beat comedy deals up heaps of post-007 Brosnan (everybody keeps referencing the drunk, walking through the lobby in Speedo’s moment, but I choose to reference the opening moments of the movie where he exchanges childish banter with a 12-year-old whose mom is checking him out). While the chemistry is very good, it’s the writing that really shines through. The dialogue is fresh and funny, the story places the characters in preposterous situations (“TREE!”) and there are plenty of nice moments as the bizarre relationship between Danny and Julian flourishes. Lots of fun and well worth it. Oh, I can’t forget to mention Hope Davis. She’s very funny as Danny’s wife because she’s just so…out there (“Can I see your gun?”).

In case nobody else mentions it, the title is more than just a reference to the bullfight that Julian and Danny go to. The tradition of bullfighting is a carryover from the integration of Aztec society into Mexican life and it’s all about killing with honor. Julian delivers a poignant speech during the bullfight explaining this concept of honor in battle. Of course, the first thing this makes me think about (besides Klingons) is how much Troy sucked. Wolfgang Peterson took personal honor out of a story based on a war between two warrior cultures…YOU CAN’T DO THAT! Sorry, that’s a sidebar…anyways, what I wanted to say is that Julian’s job is also about honor (in a bizarre kind of way)…he kills with one stroke, just like a good matador.

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