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The Matador

black-comedy-the-matador-movie-poster-r-rated-2005The Matador is the story of an unlikely encounter in Mexico- a hitman realizing he has no one in the world and a struggling business man who needs to make a deal to save his career. It’s the story of two opposites, with Pierce Brosnan playing the cool hitman Julian who doesn’t even need 5 minutes to walk away from everything in his life and Greg Kinnear playing the devoted husband Danny who’s struggling to get his American dream back. The two form a awkward but powerful friendship in their brief time together at the resort, brought together by their twin crises- Julian confronting the fact that he murders people for a living, and Danny worried he is going to lose everything if he can’t make the deal.
So when the devil wants to dance with you, you better say never
Because the dance with the devil might last you forever

Sounds pretty tense, eh? Well it is, and that’s where most of the humour comes from. Julian has no idea how to make a friend as his time as a hitman has left him utterly devoid of social skills for any purpose other than picking up women, and he has buried his emotions deep out of necessity. Watching him try to fumble his way through a meaningful conversation is like watching me dance, only no one gets their toes stepped on in Julian’s case. People act bizarrely when put under stress, and the stresses that these two men face during “The Matador” are matters of life and death. Though the two deal with their stresses differently, they both end up experiencing and doing things that they would have never guessed could have happened. “The Matador” is the movie of the fork in the road, the defining moment of middle age, the chance of success and the risk of failure for these two men.

What are the two men fighting for? Danny needs to succeed because he fears losing his wife “Bean”, played by Hope Davis, and Julian is fighting for… well, his work has become his life, and he is struggling to find an identity outside of it. There’s no easy way out of the hitman game.
What happens in Mexico…

The humour of “The Matador” is not light and airy, nor comic. It is the humour of a rational, sane man who follows social norms meeting with a man who defies all conventions. It is the humour of incredible situations, of a normal yet struggling man who is given a glance of a world much darker than his own. “The Matador” made me wonder, looking at those around me, just what secrets are hidden in each person’s life. “The Matador” is rated R, which is fair considering the amount of boozing, wenching and debauchery which is shown throughout.

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