Unlikely but very likeable hitman tale that some have called the best Bond movie Brosnan never made. He’s great as a coarse, emotionally remote yet self-aware psychopath who finds he no longer has what it takes to do the job. He’s also struggling to make a connection with anyone, having lived a friendless existence of shallow encounters and cheap sex.
It’s the unreconstituted flipside to Bond. Which is not to say the film isn’t just as unrealistic in its own way. But the heart of it the story is a surprisingly effective and sweet relationship between Brosnan’s Julian Noble and the Greg Kinnear’s struggling businessman Danny Wright. Kinnear’s forever cast in this kind of role, but the trick pulled off on this occasion is not going down the easy route of knock about clash-of-opposites comedy; it looks that way initially, but as soon as Danny calls Julian on his crassness you suspect there be will more substance to it.
Despite an inauspicious early career, director Richard Shepard has made his mark in recent years, first with this then The Hunting Party. Hope Davis, as Kinnear’s wife, is as wonderful to watch as ever.