The Matador

I was surprised at how entertaining this film is, since it stars Pierce Brosnan and recycles a very tired plot conceit: The uptight business guy spends a couple days buddying up to a mentally unstable international hit man. But once you get past that, Pierce Brosnan gives a fantastically wicked performance, in spite of the fact that most medical authorities agree that he is, in fact, Pierce Brosnan. Greg Kinnear plays the straight man, and Hope Davis is, as always, perfect as Kinnear’s tremendously suburban wife. While there’s a slow bit in the middle, and director Richard Shepard extends some of the scenes past the point of comfort, it all comes together in a fabulous ending set in fabulous Tucson. Yes! Not only is it set in Tucson; it features the best song ever, “Heat of the Moment,” by the best commercial art-rock band ever, Asia. So just imagine: Pierce Brosnan, Tucson, “Heat of the Moment” …

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