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  Taffin Even His House Isn't Finished Properly
Year: 1988
Director: Francis Megahy
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Ray McAnally, Alison Doody, Jeremy Child, Dearbhla Molloy, Jim Bartley, Alan Stanford, Gerard McSorley, Patrick Bergin, Britta Smith, Jonathan Ryan, Liz Lloyd, Ronan Wilmot, Liam O'Callaghan, Frank Kelly, Catherine Byrne
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mark Taffin (Pierce Brosnan) is the local Mr Fixit around this quiet Irish village, but not because he performs odd jobs as the resident handyman, more because he employs strong arm tactics on those who would cause trouble around the area on behalf of those who are enduring the trouble. Today a businessman asks him to make sure he gets his money from a local restaurant, so Taffin goes over there and makes a polite, firm but fair demand, but when that is met with three brothers squaring up to him, he is forced to send them flying, along with their tables. However, soon there will be bigger fish in this pond and Taffin will have a fight on his hands...

You know Local Hero? Classic, wistful comedy, leaves you feeling warm inside, all that, well how about trying the anti-Local Hero? Imagine if the Bill Forsyth film had detailed a campaign of violence on behalf of the big business involved, which was met with an opposite reaction of resistance, basically Denis Lawson and Peter Riegert beating each other up for ninety minutes, and you're some way to getting the measure of Taffin, a would-be thriller from Ireland. Except that while that might sound exciting to some, if a bit silly, then further imagine it to have all the entertainment value drained out of it by repetition and general boredom with the concept.

Now you're getting it, as this was the film that Pierce Brosnan elected to do after losing out on the James Bond role; yes, he secured that later on, but Timothy Dalton's gain was the Irish film industry's loss, as the picture of the Emerald Isle painted here as a cross between quaint pub dwellers and regular intimidation cannot have done much for their tourist industry, never mind their national pride. Fortunately not many who did see this took it seriously, what with characters downing pints of Guinness as if it was going out of fashion and the music from the twin talents of Stanley Myers and Hans Zimmer never letting the chance to skip into a jig go by.

Brosnan evidently felt that a man of action was what he was born to play, yet he doesn't suit this part as well as you'd think, looking less like a two-fisted debt collector and more like a male model, complete with designer stubble and flowing locks. What the plot sets out is the conflict between Taffin and a chemical company, firstly because they're planning to concrete over a sports field to allow a road to their new plant be laid there. This, you would think, would be better played out with a crusading journalist from the local newspaper, but nope, what we get is Taffin going over to the shotgun-toting owner of the meadow next to the sports field and blowing up his toilet to persuade him to allow the road on his land.

Which is absurd, but sadly this never grows daft enough to be enjoyable, it's simply tiresome. Irish viewers can at least get some enjoyment from spotting various actors they'll know from television in this, but the best that the rest of us can achieve is the pleasant surprise of seeing Dermot Morgan and Frank Kelly from classic sitcom Father Ted. Otherwise, Indiana Jones fans might be pleased to see Alison Doody as the love interest, and others may be thankful that the great Irish character actor Ray McAnally, here playing the leader of the protest movement who persuades Taffin to spearhead their fight, did not have this as the final film on his resume. The best you can say about it is that there's the odd unintentional laugh (the intentional ones were thinner on the ground and could go either way with tickling the funny bone) and the scenery is attractive, as apart from that none of this rings true, and it never finds the right tone.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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