Thursday, March 10, 2011
Taffin ends up falling in love with, Charlotte, a bartender he picks up after a job played by Allison Doody. Charlotte's main function to the plot is to act as encouragement for Taffin as he's not on the best of terms with the town due to his profession. There's quite a bit of bellyaching from both sides as the town doesn't quite fully trust Taffin and Taffin is certain that at some point they'll turn their backs on him.
His fears turn out to be fully validated towards the end and unfortunately, the manner in which it plays out pretty much torpedoes the last act of the movie. For the first hour and twenty minutes, this is a fairly terrific little gem of a movie with a breezy pace and good performances from all, especially Brosnan who manages to make his character likable in spite of some rather whiny moments here and there.
After a few confrontations, Taffin has apparently won the day and village is singing his praises when suddenly, a fire set by the bad guys burns down a house, killing one of the villagers. This turns the entire town against Taffin and sends him out after the head of the company who he shoots dead right before the credits.
My main issue with this is simply one of basic storytelling logic. For the most part, there is little to no evidence that the town will turn on the man which makes him look like a bit of an ass. The moment it does happen, it's done in such an overblown, stupid manner that it makes the villagers look like complete morons who would sooner believe the bad guy than the man who's been protecting them for the last hour of screen time.
This sort of plot twist is very difficult to pull off. It requires careful screenwriting and believable execution. Here though, it's done with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer as the town turns on him in the blink of an eye. I don't know if this is what happened in the book the movie was based on but I would hope it was done in a more believable manner. The end result is a late twist that almost kills the movie.
Despite a lapse into Idiot Plot inanities, I do think this movie is worth watching if for no other reason than to see Pierce before he was James Bond. Brosnan and Doody are good and have a nice chemistry together and it's an agreeable enough way to spend 97 minutes. Just don't be surprised if after watching it you feel slightly miffed by the botched ending.