The Matador vs. Beverly Hills Cop III

I had meant to write last week about a movie I’d seen over the past weekend, The Matador starring Pierce Brosnan. It is easily one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen but it slipped my mind when sometime Sunday evening, it took second place in a Worst Movies I Saw That Weekend competition. I accidentally found myself watching Beverly Hills Cop III, you see.

The Matador was, I guess, supposed to be a black comedy about a nutty hitman (Brosnan) and an unlikely fan/friend of his (Greg Kinnear). But the tone was all wrong. Brosnan’s character would drop insane lines out of nowhere but they usually fell flat. Kinnear’s character was clearly unbalanced to be infatuated with the hitman. There was no development of the relationship between them — they meet in Mexico; cut to years later when the hitman shows up at the fan’s house. The moment that bound Kinnear’s character to Brosnan’s was told in a flashback that we don’t see til the very end. So we don’t feel anything between the characters.

To top it off, there’s no climax to the story. It is as if the filmmaker thought he could get away with showing the entire second act in flashback. We’re left with exposition and denouement.

Beverly Hills Cop III is terrible in a much more profound way. I remember watching it when it came out on video and thinking it was as if the entire movie was improvised in an afternoon. Most of it just doesn’t make any sense. Watching it makes you question the actors’ sanity. And it was directed by John Landis! Sure the cast’s standards can easily be questioned. All I need to say is “Hector Elizondo” and you’ll get an idea of the discount rate actor they were looking for. If I say “Joey Travolta,” you’ll probably get an even clearer picture (even if you can’t picture Joey). “Fred Asparagus” anyone? It was that kind of movie.