Throwback Thirty – Taffin (1988)

25388485_star_rating_system_2_stars I got an email this week from a website informing me that it was my half birthday. Apparently that momentous occasion was reason enough for them to offer me money off lingerie. Who knew that half birthdays were the cheap underwear birthdays? Anyway, that email got me thinking that it was time to celebrate me having made  as we have reached this important time of the year I decided that I needed to watch an important film for this TBT post. And there was only one film worth of that honour. It’s a film that I’ve been meaning to watch ever since I heard it discussed on Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish’s radio show. There is a specific scene that became something of an in-joke for the two comedians and their fans. I can only imagine the amount of hours I’ve spent listening to that clip on repeat. It meant that I felt like I knew the film intimately but, obviously, have never seen anything more than a 15 second clip. My friend and I had meant to watch it years ago, during the height of the Adam and Joe Taffin craze. But it never happened. Which means I get to do it now on this, my half-year birthday. It’s almost like fate.

“WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T BE LIVING HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE!”

That’s it. The one line that first got Adam and Joe and their fans (me included) hooked on the film Taffin. A film starring a young Pierce Brosnan as the titular character. Taffin is a debt collector in a small Irish town. He knows exactly how close to push people to get them to pay up and isn’t afraid to use violence, or at least the threat of it, to ensure his job is carried out. He’s a man who gets the job done but, at the same time, is a man who will deliver fresh fish to his mother for dinner. When a large and greedy corporation swoop into town to try to buy the sports field to build a chemical plant, Taffin’s brother begs him to use his influence to prevent the land being sold. He then gets drawn into a tense battle with the businessmen in order to protect his home.

I’ll be honest with you, I had to Google the plot summary of this film to make sure I’d got it right. Watching this film is a huge mindfuck because it’s all over the place. At only 93 minutes or so, the story has clearly been cut down to its absolute smallest and there is a sense that it’s impacted the storytelling. There is a severe lack of narrative or character development so you never really know who anyone is or why they’re doing anything. It’s basically just a series of things that happen to allow Bronhom to beat someone else up. Which, if I’m honest, is actually okay with me. He’s one of my favourite Bonds even though most of his films are, actually, super shit. I mean Madonna and an invisible car? Urgh. Give me a hover-gondola any day.

Going into his film I knew that Taffin wasn’t going to be good. I’d seen that 15 seconds of it after all. But I at least hoped that it would be so bad that it’s good again. You know, the kind of film like Snakes on a Plane or Sharknado that works despite everything telling you it shouldn’t. Taffin isn’t even good enough to like ironically. It’s boring. It doesn’t make sense. The stunts are painfully bad and the choreographed fighting is so pathetic even I could do it. Bronhom is on as fine form as he ever is, obviously, but doesn’t really get better than his now infamous line. The rest of the cast are all forgettable. It’s a massive shame that it worked out like this. I wanted Taffin to be one of those guilty pleasure films that I watched every few months or so to cheer me up. It won’t be. It’ll always be that one 1988 film that ruined my half birthday. I should have just bought taken up that offer of cheap lingerie. It would have worked out better.

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