The Matator puts the James Bond mythos under harsh florescent lights, exposing the splotchy patches and shadows while keeping the overall shape the same. Pierce Brosnan has been rightly praised for his willingness to debase himself, playing a drunken, lonely assassin with considerable brio. We feel for him, and for the buttoned-up businessman he befriends, Danny (Greg Kinnear), a surprising amount, given the general throwaway feel of this genre parody.

Continue reading about The Matador (no spoilers)…A hit at Sundance (Miramax bought distribution for $7.5M), The Matador is more commercial than the usual festival movie. This is the type of movie — fleet, funny — that the indie arms of the studios wish they were churning out. Still, for the performances of Brosnan, Kinnear and Hope Davis, who plays Danny’s curious wife — well worth a rental.

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