Big question: A struggling businessman (Greg Kinnear) forms an unlikely friendship with an assassin (Pierce Brosnan) who's fighting a crisis of conscience. Is Brosnan's Golden Globe-nominated turn as deadly, flirtatious killer Julian Noble just a 007 retread?
Catch it: "The Matador" is charmingly off-color, and Brosnan shines as a man whose sharp tongue masks a vulnerable, lonely heart. This is an unusual, funny and sensitive buddy pic about troubled men whose perky demeanor is the cloak behind which these floundering bulls hide.
Skip it if: You're not a fan of salty expressions. A sample Julian quip: "I look like a Bangkok hooker on a Sunday morning after the navy's left town."
Bottom line: Assembling Brosnan, Kinnear, Hope Davis, Philip Baker Hall and Dylan Baker, the decently diverting, if slight, "The Matador" seems like under-appreciated actors coming together for awhile to shoot--um, stab--the bull. It's an amusing and original comedy that skips along with the quirky, charismatic shake-shake-shake of maracas.
Bonus: Brosnan pulls a stunt no other Bond alum would attempt: strolling through a hotel lobby wearing only cowboy boots and a black Speedo.
Written and directed by Richard Shepard; photographed by David Tattersall; edited by Carole Kravetz-Aykanian ; production designed by Robert Pearson; music by Rolfe Kent; produced by Beau St. Clair, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Furst and Bryan Furst. A Weinstein Company release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:36. MPAA rating: R (strong sexual content and language).
Julian Noble - Pierce Brosnan
Danny Wright - Greg Kinnear
Bean Wright - Hope Davis
Mr. Randy - Philip Baker HallCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times