The Matador

Take that 007 job and shove it. If Pierce Brosnan can be as roaringly fierce and funny as he is as Julian Noble, a hit man suffering a meltdown, then who needs James Bond? Writer-director Richard Shepard gives Brosnan his meatiest role ever, and he digs in with relish. The sight of a drunken Brosnan walking through a hotel lobby in nothing but cowboy boots and Speedos is time-capsule-worthy. Julian meets Denver exec Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) at a bar in Mexico City, a place where Julian insists the margaritas taste best — and also the cock. The gay joke flips out Danny, but the two become friends — an odd coupling that lets Brosnan and Kinnear lob comic fastballs. But Julian is falling apart. This top "facilitator of fatalities" can't squeeze the trigger. How Danny, with a wife (Hope Davis) back home, manages to figure in Julian's rehab as a killer is a surprise no review should reveal. Just sit back and enjoy the fun.

From The Archives Issue 107: April 27, 1972