The internet is a funny place, where a previously overlooked film can suddenly find its fifteen minutes of fame when lampooned for just one poorly delivered line. I discovered Taffin via what has become the normal route, the YouTube clip of Pierce Brosnan yelling “Maybe you shouldn’t be living here!” with extra emphasis on the last word. Incredibly, I’ve found that people often overlook the fact that, perhaps to balance out his unnaturally long line, his previous line is cut short, so that he simply says “What goes on in this town is none of your busine-” With its recent addition to Netflix, I decided to discover the movie behind the quote.
Taffin is set in Brosnan’s native Ireland, but would work well as a Western. In fact, the very ordinary contemporary Irish look adds to the films atmosphere. Brosnan plays Mark Taffin, a freelance do-gooder who isn’t afraid to kick ass to get what he wants. He is what Clint Eastwood is to A Fistful of Dollars. What makes it awesome is how domestic most of the issues he deals with are. He helps a young band get a new van after the auto dealer sells them a clapped out old van that doesn’t work. He tries to save a sports ground from being demolished for a new roadway by convincing them to build over the meadow in the next field. These things you wouldn’t expect to see in any other film.
There is a bit of unintentional humour in this film; besides that line, I was chortling right from the start when I saw that the names of two cast members were Ray McAnally and Alison Doody. However, this low-budget film actually plays out rather naturally and doesn’t feel laboured at all. I really liked the character of Taffin, who was clearly a deep thinker as well as being a pair of fists. His character development throughout the film is interesting in itself. One wouldn’t have expected such character depth from a film like this.
It’s easy to see why Brosnan was picked for the role of James Bond shortly after this movie was made. He had the looks, he could be suave and he also could do action. However, Taffin goes deeper than most Bond films and sees a troubled individual torn up by the actions he takes. It’s a low-key film for sure, but there’s more here than meets the eye.