Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Guard: Movie Review

The Guard: Movie Review

The Guard
Rating: 8/10
Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Fionnula Flannaghan
Director: John Michael McDonagh
It's back to slightly scabrous ways for this comedy about an Irish Garda played with great gusto by Brendan Gleeson, who's on somewhat of a career relaunch following In Bruges.
Gleeson is Sergeant Gerry Boyle, an Irish cop who loves the whoring and the drinking but is at heart, an old fashioned copper, prone to a bit of casual racism and abuse - however, he still believes in the law.
So his relatively quiet life is somewhat ruined by the arrival of a corpse, an American FBI Agent (a brilliant turn by Don Cheadle) and an attempt to shut down a massive drug smuggling racket run in his neck of the woods.
Darkly ironic, sardonic and sarcastic, this film's essentially a buddy cop film with one major difference - Gleeson.
His perfect timing and F bomb peppered delivery gives the film the tone it needs to set it apart from the rest of its genre and while the start of the filum (to quote the Irish vernacular) feels fresh and different, it does sag a little towards two thirds of the way through.
That said, there's enough to give it the oomph it needs to race to the finish line with another great character turn from the ever dependable Mark Strong.
Cheadle and Gleeson are a great pair and a sharp script brings out their very best - even if it is some of the most un politically correct material you've heard in a long time. Although Boyle's comments during the initial FBI briefing are just frankly hilarious as he bandies around as many stereotypes as you can imagine.
However, he's not just all unPC and whoring; thanks to Gleeson's clever portrayal and some script smarts, he's got a tender side when dealing with his dying mother.

There's just something witty about this darkly black tale of The Guard and while the story runs out a little toward the end, the humour will have you smiling throughout thanks to the great buddy dynamic between Cheadle and Gleeson.

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