Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Matador, Olé!

Last weekend I saw The Matador, starring Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, and Hope Davis. IMDB summary:
A chance encounter between a travelling salesman [Kinnear] and a lonely hitman [Brosnan] triggers a strangely profound relationship which provokes each to act in ways neither would have imagined possible. Fate steps in to form a friendship between two men from irreconcilable worlds that will alter the lives of both forever.
Very succinct without really saying much. Then again, it's a relatively short movie where if I tell you much more, there's not much left to it.

I will say that I rather enjoyed the movie. It's light in places and heavy in others. But what really made it shine for me were the characters portrayed by Brosnan and Kinnear. Brosnan's hitman is perfect! He's absolutely nuts. I don't mean he's mentally incompetent but rather that he's 'off' by so much from what one might consider a 'normal' person to be. He's a bit unstable, unhinged, and just generally depraved. He's what I hope a hitman might be like. Very odd and yet very good at his job.

Kinnear's character is in direct contrast. Very down to Earth, very likeable, very much your average man. He has a wife [Davis] and a nice house. Very average and the perfect 'partner' for Brosnan.

It's a strange pairing that really works. Kinnear reacts like the average person would/should and his reactions and acting are spot on. The plot itself is very thin, at times I wondered what the plot actually was, but the acting of the two main characters overshadows this rather large hole.

Not everyone will like this movie. For me, it was Brosnan's assassin. At one point he takes you step-by-step through an assassination. It's chilling and oh so well done. Kinnear is there, of course, and his reactions and 'learning' really serve to reflect the audience.

Anyways, I like it. You may not. If you like Brosnan or Kinnear (or what-I-consider-to-be-realistic assassins), give it a look. It's funny at times, serious at others. I'd label it a drama but even there it's not all that dramatic. It just sort of is. If you can deal with that, enjoy the ride (or at least the acting).