Before Pierce Brosnan took the leap into James Bond, he played a variety of roles in action movies in which he is using guns. I can see now why they chose him. Take this 80s gem, Taffin, a hard-boiled and small movie with big drama and direction.
It was rated at 5.6/10 by IMDB which is a shame since I found it overall to be interesting, with characters that had clear motivations. There is drama, conflict, a bit of action, some violence, some nudity, and Brosnan as the hard edged Taffin which made the movie quite over played but enjoyable.
Taffin is a 1988 thriller film directed by Francis Megahy and starring Pierce Brosnan in the title role of Mark Taffin. It also featured Ray McAnally, Alison Doody and Jeremy Child. It is based on Lyndon Mallet’s book series.
Directed by Francis Megahy and with a runtime of approx. 1 hour 36 minutes it clocks in to be an easy evening viewing.
For those who want to see hard men doing hard things this is the film for you. Brosnan plays Taffin who is a no-holds-barred debt collector working freelance. Come the debt, come the Taffin. Soon though the little town he lives in comes under a much bigger threat, that of a new development plan on the local playing fields to build a chemical factory. It gets dirty, very quickly.
Taffin, determined not to get involved is pulled in for his love of the town. So are other people. What starts as a back and forth fight between the corps and the people turns bloody, with fighting, shooting, blackmail, threats, and death.
Taffin, being the man everyone relied on to help, is sadly left to do the dirty work and when the corps hire a freelance hitman – or whatever he is – to burn down a house resulting in a mans death, Taffin is blamed. He is blamed because the people new he was involved and suspected he took it too far. The people push him out despite him helping them when they needed it. In the end, he takes it to the top, he reaches the man he’s meant to reach and eventually flies off with his girlfriend.
A fairly abrupt ending but the film itself was tense, and I found it rewarding and interesting. Although the lack of reciprocation from the people to Taffin after the fire is disheartening.
This is a short review because it’s an easy to view film which doesn’t require much in depth analysis. You have people on opposite sides wanting different things, things turn ugly. This is still a very true albeit fictional account of things that happen in real life. Taffin is also an Irish movie with Brosnan being Irish (although a lot assume he is English because he played James Bond). It is certainly one of the more flamboyant roles, in which Taffin has the ego that could fill your living room.
Top Gun: Maverick is from the start a complete and utter amazement of a movie. This is the man movie of the 21st century and a must see for anyone who likes planes, fighter jets, Tom Cruise, friendship and extremely actionable movie sequences involving life and death situations. Today, I had the pleasure of watching this unexpected gem of an action movie, welcome to the review!
It was rated at 97% by Rotten Tomatoes and at 78 by Metacritic.
The movie was directed by: Joseph Kosinski, and released on the 27th May 2022 in the United Kingdom. It has grossed $817.30 million dollars, and counting. Starring Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Val Kilmer and more! It is an action and drama movie. It runs at around 2 hours and 10 minutes.
“After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell (Maverick) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot.”
Ladies and gentlemen I expected a copycat rehash and reboot, what I got was an interesting, action filled and feeling movie that really surprised me. It is not dragged out at all, and is always focused on the mission. Maverick (Cruise) is pulled from his edge of the seat role as aircraft test pilot where he pushes the limit until his superior Cain (Ed Harris) comes to pull him out and send him back to… TOPGUN. Maverick is assigned the task of teaching and training the class graduates of the Top Gun programme for a near impossible mission.
Of course this comes after a rollercoaster of an opening scene, which sees Maverick push an aircraft to mach 10, speeding round the atmosphere until he burns his aircraft up and ends up in the next shot walking into a bar and asking ‘where am I?’ to which a small child at the bar looks to a burned and ash covered face of Maverick and responds ‘earth.’ There are a few funny moments, but I didn’t find all of them funny like a lot of people, but they added humour in a way that diffuses any sad scenes, so the sad scenes don’t drag out too long. This film is positive, and has strong positive themes.
Maverick is now back to the training ground, back with old ‘friends,’ until he realises that one of the Top Gun graduates is Goose’s son, whom Maverick thinks still blames him for his fathers death. Throughout the movie we see that he is still struggling with Goose’s death and a big part of the movie, is forgiveness and acceptance and moving on. Maverick returns to Ice (Val Kilmer) now ailed and unable to speak, which reflects the actors real state, as Kilmer cannot speak anymore. He confesses before the deadly mission he cannot move on from Goose’s death, he doesn’t know how to. Of course, he and Rooster (Goose’s son) do have their differences, and they do get along, but Maverick is still conscious that he won’t ever be truly forgiven, or something like that.
During the training, the action of the movie cranks up, Maverick is shown what the top secret mission is, to target a small couple of feet vent and drop bombs, after navigating a small valley laden with SAMs. Training takes its toll, pushing the aircraft to the limit, pulling many Gs, pushing the Top Gun pilots to the limit. Rooster reminds Maverick of Goose to the point he pulls the young mans application to the navy academy because his mother didn’t want him to do it. I suppose the story has strong father and son tones, so it was fitting to watch it this father day.
It is the constant action in the training and the cool aerial shots and soundtrack that keep this movie at the top of its game. Maverick is not just an excellent fighter pilot, but he knows how to make the others the best too. That was why he was chosen. For this missions, of destroying a small target, it will take the best, and he selects 6 other people to do it, along with 6 on standby. Luckily nobody dies, but the training builds up in such a way to give the impression that someone will not make it out alive. Maverick suspects Rooster is not experienced or ready, yet decides to take him. It was nice to see Tom Cruise showing emotions on screen, shedding tears in his quest to move on, and this was what made me think ‘this is not just good acting, this is great acting,’ and you can really feel the emotions of all the characters.
The team are friends, are more than just pilots, this is a team and we get to feel connected to this group. There is 1 female out of the 12 selected, but I don’t think this detracted because she was in the main mission. But we move on and the mission is ready to begin, after 3 weeks of training, and crashes and near misses and intense dog fights. The main mission begins, and I couldn’t help but feel scared for them, they were extremely brave going into it, and Maverick, Tom Cruise acting is great. I felt like Maverick had the magic and more, years of experience making him the best of the best. It is all Hollywood blockbuster action, dropping bombs, intense dog fights, exploding bases, blowing up planes, losing flares, running low on fuel, being close to dying. This film kept me both entertained and on the edge of my seat.
I honestly believed in Maverick but suspected he would die, and he does get shot down after tackling rockets alone, but, to his aid comes Rooster, not only after he crashed but still as he was trying to retreat. Maverick after being shot down by these nameless enemies (I was unsure why nationality wasn’t disclosed unless it was out of fear of stoking tensions with eastern countries) Maverick is alive but forced to take shelter from a fighter helicopter, and here comes Rooster, who blows the chopper to pieces. It is amazing how good the scenes are, and the use of explosives. But Rooster is shot down, another heart wrenching moment, but of course the positive vibes of the movie meant he was still alive, and Maverick on his trail to show his hate of the youngster risking his life.
As we approach the end of the movie, Maverick and Rooster, on foot manage to penetrate the enemy base, and I had to hold my tongue because they slipped in, stole a jet and managed to take off on like 30 feet of concrete A little unbelievable but then again, the base was in chaos, destroyed and the enemy more concerned about other things. I thought that the action had been good so far with excellent shots of jets swerving the mountains and performing incredible aerial stunts but it didn’t last too long and when they escaped I kind of wanted them to be challenged. They were, as two new generation fighters get on their tail, an awesome dog fight ensues and luckily they are rescued by the standby crew, something that I found emotional. True bravery was demonstrated in this movie, and although fiction is likely not far off what real fighter pilots do.
So the movie comes to an end, we see Maverick back in his hangar fixing his aircraft, back to his place, and we get that happy ending. A film which didn’t drag on the sad things and kept us on our seats, fully immersed. Tom Cruise did well and I mean that, along with everyone else, it had a completely different feel than the first and is the first movie I have seen in a long time where I actually enjoyed every moment. I had my assumptions about a sequel, thinking it would be rubbish, but this movie really does stand alone, and does make references to the first movie, but it is done in such a way that they are merely flashbacks which have been used in movies before which didn’t even have a first movie.
Anyone who goes to the cinema should try this movie. RATING 5/5
I watched The Batman last night. Got into the cinema and sat down by 7pm. Film started 20 minutes later after a couple adverts, not many. The film ran from that time to about 10:10pm! So, from the beginning of this review, you should know the new Warner Bros. DC movie The Batman is long and it is dark and there is actually more to this than first meets thee eye.
I will highlight firstly that this seems and appears to be a direct continuation of the franchise in that Batman is established and he is not going through any type of renewal. This is a key word in the movie, renewal. He refers to himself at the start of the movie as vengeance. He is also called vengeance throughout by others.
The movie uses a gothic castle as his home! Finally. This is brilliant. The overall aesthetic of the movie is dark and gothic it is brilliant. The architecture being used it old as opposed to new or modern. Even the subway system looks outdated.
It starts with Batman revealing how he operates, how criminals are afraid when they know he may be out in the night, how he fights but cannot tackle every problem. Understandable. Robert Pattinson is also a good look for Batman. He wears black eye makeup a lot of the time, even with the suit on. He is tall and slim. Muscle isn’t really there in one of the scenes where he exposes his torso. I don’t know if anyone else has an issue with this but the suit in the film does give the impression his quite strong and muscularly, although with the suit you can still see that slimness. But he knows how to fight, he uses those skills effectively, being able to take on 5 or 6 fearlessly.
We go to a murder, specifically in this big mansion. It leads us onto the topic of the movie. Why was he killed, who did it and why? We soon learn at the crime scene that there is more to this. It appears there is a card addressed to the batman in which is a riddle. That’s right. The Riddler is back at his sick games. Batman, coupled with commissioner Gordon, is trying to track him down all the while dealing with an elusive and mysterious woman who dresses in black at night, and has lots of cats – catwoman? We never get that information but clearly, she is. Who recalls Halle Berry in that awful 2004 movie? What about Michelle Pfeiffer in 1992 Batman Returns? Zoe Kravitz is now catwoman. And, we get to see the workings of some dark club in which a lot of police, corrupt DA’s have been hanging out.
The club forefront man, is none less than the Penguin. (This movie should have done more with him). But the Penguin, although known, is on the backburner. Played by an unrecognisable Colin Farrell. The club is a mafia run joint. It’s basically a long journey from this point of trying to figure out who the Riddler is couple with trying to expose the corrupt cops. All the while Alfred is hospitalised after an attack and more.
But in terms of character we can see that stories of the past and particularly Bruce Waynes parents death has crept back into the fold, supposedly being some sort of trigger for renewal. I should also mention that at the beginning of the movie, a group of thugs has the face paint of joker. Although it doesn’t have any attention drawn to it, when looking at the Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, it is significant. Even more so when comparing with the death of Bruce Waynes parents. You see movie makers, Warner Brothers and writers should all be familiar with previous films stories. In Joker it is suggested that Thomas Wayne is the Jokers father, and the Jokers uprising is responsible for the death of Bruce Waynes parents. In this film, the Batman, it is suggested that the mafia boss or the Riddler is responsible. At the end of the movie, we see the Joker in Arkham Asylum, so we know throughout the movie that his far reaching affects are still taking place because of the Joker impersonators. This supposed disregard to what the Joker did in the previous movies makes me wonder why they ignored it.
It is all about detective and chase work. The Batmobile makes and appearance as a loud and obnoxious vehicle with huge engine and flaming turbine on the back. It’s small but not quite fast enough. It comes in good use when Batman suspects the Penguin of being an elusive rat with wings that the Riddler is hunting. It is downplayed but the movie operates at a level of genuine sophistication and Batman genuineness. It is true to the character. He is not perfect, he is still not supported 100% by Gotham police department aside from commissioner Gordon. He is still the Dark Knight, just in a more reclusive way. Bruce Wayne is in the negative spotlight throughout as the city want blood for the billionaires corrupt dealings.
This battle is lost and Batman cannot figure out the Riddler’s last clue until it is too late. The city is in jeopardy. It is a laboured love but the movie shows and demonstrates that key element which makes us all love Batman to begin with. He gives the city hope and is a light of positivity. Although the Riddler wasn’t quite as eccentric as Jim Carrey in 1995s Batman Forever, he is still a bad guy and its fun to watch the pursuit.
The run time does seem excessive. It could have been cut down considerably, which I suspect is what already happened. Maybe they could have given us 2 hours 30 minutes? Seems reasonable to say at least 20 minutes of combined footage is not needed, a city shot here or there, or the sound of engines revving.
Congratulations to Robert Pattinson for doing a decent job of making Batman dark, strong and genuinely a force to be reckoned with. Acting is superb. The dark theme, overall gothic tones and a huge amount of visual close up fighting, with little special effects. It is so difficult to rate though.