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The Guard 2011

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John Michael McDonagh writes and directs this Irish crime comedy. Unconventional small-town policeman Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is less than pleased to find himself teamed up with rule-abiding FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) when he is called upon to investigate an international cocaine smuggling ring. It soon becomes clear that the case is tainted with bribery and corruption but will they be able to make their partnership work in order to catch the bad guys? Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham and David Wilmot co-star.

Starring:
Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 32 minutes
Starring Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham
Director John Michael McDonagh
Genres Comedy, Thriller, Drama
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 16 January 2012
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 32 minutes
Starring Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham
Director John Michael McDonagh
Genres Comedy, Thriller, Drama
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 16 January 2012
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Sergeant Gerry Boyle of the Galway Police (they're called 'Garda' in Ireland) is sitting in his stationary car when a bunch of five drunken reprobates speed past and crash their stolen bright red souped-up Cortina - killing all inside. As he searches one of the young bodies lying on the side of the country road - he sighs when he finds a plastic bag of drugs in his pockets and says - "I don't think your Mammy would be too pleased..."

Gerry then stands up and drops a Tab of Acid from the dead lad's plastic pouch - and as he looks out at the Atlantic Ocean - says "What a beautiful f***ing day!"

You don't have to be Irish to laugh at "The Guard" - but it really helps in getting the irony and brutal sense of humour. And being a Dubliner myself - there were times when I thought I was going to burst a stitch in my Quadruple Bypass chest at some of the truly riotous dialogue. This is a funny film - filled with cursing, bad taste, crude honesty and little touches within scenes that are rib tickling genius. Examples include Gerry flicking the blue toes of a corpse to see if they'll bounce back, answering the front door of his home wearing orange y-fronts and a beer belly that would embarrass Buddha (the lady averts her eyes), slipping a flask of whiskey to his ailing mother in a care home as they giggle at the 'inmates' making a meal out of dying, talking about mini Derringer guns to a school kid on a bicycle whose fixated on the Behavioural Patterns Section of the FBI.

The story goes like this. Don Cheadle as FBI Agent Wendell Everett arrives from the USA trying to hunt down a boat from Columbia that's gone off radar with half a billion dollars worth of cocaine.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 May 2014
Format: DVD
I heard the great Irish actor Brendan Gleeson the other day talking about how few and far between 'worthwhile' (and interesting) film roles are in today's modern cinema. Whilst I am sure there is much truth in what Gleeson says (I never cease to be amazed when having to sit through typically inane multiplex trailers) it does seem that, with 2009's In Bruges (written and directed by Martin McDonagh), and 2014's Calvary and this 2011 work (both written and directed by Martin's brother, John Michael), Gleeson, perhaps understandably given his heritage, has `struck very lucky' recently.

Here, as Connemara's most 'disreputable' cop, Sergeant Gerry Boyle, Gleeson has dispensed with the cultural pretensions of In Bruges' Ken and instead adopted many of the 'un-PC' traits of Colin Farrell's character Ray, namely - sexism, racism and even a spot of crime (drug taking and gun-running) - albeit with an underlying 'honest heart of gold'. His straight-talking approach ('I'm Irish, racism is part of my culture') dumbfounds Don Cheadle's excellent FBI agent Wendell Everett - who, in McDonagh's admittedly rather fanciful plot, has turned up on the shores of this rural backwater, looking to 'bust' a $500m drugs gang. Plot extravagances aside, however, McDonagh's film is (for the most part) an hilariously dark comedy, with a razor sharp script, peppered with moments of fast-moving action and brutal violence. This latter element comes courtesy of Liam Cunningham's (another great Irish actor) eccentric (philosopher-quoting) gang-leader, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, and his two henchmen - the equally psychotic Clive Cornell and Liam O'Leary, played with great venom and dark humour by (respectively) Mark Strong and David Wilmot.
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Format: DVD
This may not be to everyone's taste, but if you are not upset by profuse profanity, if you don't mind coarse humour, if you appreciate a bit of moral ambiguity, and if you enjoy a dash of philosophy with your violence, then this is a movie you will love.

The film stars the great Brendan Gleeson, who has been quietly building a reputation for himself as one of the finest movie actors about, as a small town cop in Connemara, and the brilliant Don Cheedle as an FBI man arriving in Galway on the trail of a bunch of international drugs traffickers. But the whole cast is composed of some of the finest actors currently working, including Liam Cunningham, Mark Strong and Fionuala Flanagan.

At heart the film is a buddy movie about the mismatched cops Cheedle and Gleeson and in the midst of all the prickly dialogue between the two it satisfies all the expectations that one would have of such a movie with a great "shoot-em-up" ending. It also makes some nice subtle political points: in spite of the jokey xenophobia of the central character it is the foreign characters, Croatian, African and African-American who are, along with the character of Gleeson's mother, the most dignified and attractive figures portrayed; Dublin and Dubliners are the butt of many of the film's jokes, a nice counter-balance to Dubliners' tendency to treat non-"Pale" Ireland (ie the area that is not Dublin) as a lesser place.

If this film doesn't leave you with a smile on your face its difficult to know what will. Its great stuff!
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