A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Matador

So we're getting rid of our cable. I know it may sound crazy, and at times it does even to me, but I'm just tired of TV. I had the TiVo, but even then I just couldn't find enough to watch that was worth my time. I'm also hoping to get some reading, writing, and studying done--activities that I haven't really participated in for too long.

So, in lieu of TV, we'll be getting some Blockbuster treats on a semi-regular basis. I'm going to try to review them best I can. The first of these occurred yesterday: The Matador, starring Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear.

Plot: B
A middle-aged hitman, Brosnan, goes to Mexico to "put some work in." Or, as he explains his job to Kinnear during a bullfighting match, "sometimes people need to be eliminated." Kinnear is also a middle-aged dude himself. Apparently under a lot of pressure from some business deal or another. He also goes to, you guessed it, Mexico!

Directorial style: B
I kind of liked how the director used big bold letters to show locations, the colors were bright, the sets were interesting, overall I liked it. There were a few excessive uses of surrealism which served no purpose (Brosnan walking through his hotel lobby in his skivvies, jumping in the pool with a beer in his hand, only to discover, you guessed it, he was in a Shark pool!)

Characters: A- and F
Brosnan's character was interesting. Here he was, a middle-aged hitman who was still "living the lifestyle." Various sordid affairs with women half his age, carrying out hits, and his sweet sweet mustache. I found him interesting, and he does have a good screen presence.
Kinnear, however, sucked ass. Totally unbelievable--a sort of clueless, wimpy, mama's boy who somehow was involved in these million-dollar business deals in Mexico. Also shown to be totally innocent, yet incredibly trusting of some guy who kills people for a living.

Character interaction, thus the conflict of the movie: F
It was all going OK until Kinnear and Brosnan meet and interact. You could see it coming: it was going to painful, and full of shitty buddy-isms that were obviously a waste of time. I'll be honest: I watched until about 50 minutes in. Then the inane dialogue and sheer stupidity made me give up.

Musical score: D
There were some good cuts on there in terms of rock hits and whatnot, but the wife and I noticed a similar occurrence--for some reason Hollywood insists on putting in totally inappropriate "filler" score while the movie plods along. It's a sort of chime-y, happy-go-lucky score that ruins any sense of seriousness that the scenes may have. We noticed it in another horrible piece of work: Must Love Dogs. I don't know what Hollywood is thinking, but it made both movies lose any sense of drama that they may have had.

Overall: D
I'm sure there are worse films out there these days, but this one was a real disappointment. I liked the premise, and we had recently seen an Ebert and Roper where they sang the praises of The Matador. It was really bad though. Has Hollywood forgotten how to write movies with acceptable, real dialogue?


Blogger neill said...

That is a powerful, powerful moustache.

5:22 PM


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