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The Guard [DVD]
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Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is a small-town cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humour, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) to his door. However, despite the fact that Boyle seems more interested in mocking and undermining Everett than in actively working to solve the case, he finds that circumstances keep pulling him back into the thick of it.
First his tiresomely enthusiastic new partner McBride disappears, then his favourite hooker attempts to blackmail him into turning a blind eye, and finally the drug-traffickers themselves try to buy him off as they have every other member of the local police force. These events unwittingly offend Boyle's murky moral code. He realises that he needs to take matters into his own hands, and the only person he can trust is Everett. And so the scene is set for an explosive finale.
Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (Ned Kelly) and starring Brendan Gleeson (the Harry Potter series, In Bruges) and Don Cheadle (the Oceans films, Hotel Rwanda) as the ill-matched pair of lawmen, The Guard also stars Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Kick-Ass), Liam Cunningham (Hunger, The Wind That Shakes The Barley), Fionnuala Flanagan (The Invention of Lying), David Wilmot (The Tudors), Rory Keenan (Zonad), Pat Shortt (Garage) and newcomer Katarina Cas.
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
Boyle is the kind of policeman who checks a corpse for money before reporting, he plays with evidence to amuse himself and stops off for a pint or two during his shift. He's a bent cop but interestingly you identify with him, his dry humour and cynicism. You get the sense that he's actually a decent guy who has seen a lot of life, concluded that it's not fair and his misdemeanours are small fry and insignificant compared to life's greater injustices - such as the death of his wife and the imminent demise of his mother. His unsubtle cavalier approach contrasts with those of the visiting FBI agent - and the two find themselves working together on the biggest case to hit the small village. Those wanting a laugh-a-minute barrage of knob-gags and jaunty jokes may be disappointed, the humour here is dark and much of it comes from the politically incorrect script. Some of the characters are over-the-top but overall the film is grounded in reality thanks to Brendon Gleeson's natural performance. The plot is nothing special, it's just a vehicle for Sgt. Boyle and it's fully justified because the film saunters along and the character is allowed to dominate, this is a film about Boyle which follows a well-tested formula without ever looking formulaic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was pretty sure this would be a good watch, as Brendan Gleeson who turns up a lot in supporting roles and is never disappointing, is centre stage in this one and it's a role that... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Ozymandias
We've seen this before but just couldn't resist watching it again. Brendan Gleeson is totally on form in this movie. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lizzie Bee
Irish noir, billed as a comedy but definitely black comedy. Really loved the film, and the superb quality of the acting.Published 2 months ago by Big Bando
Probably Dah Besht black comedy ever, glee son is superb and how Don Cheadle keeps a straight face through out !!!! Totally great viewingPublished 2 months ago by Mr A P Beattie
Wee jem of a film, sarcastic & funny as hell very well worth a look.Published 2 months ago by FuzzyWuzzy
wouldn't normally watch this kind of genre
but saw another film with Brendan Gleeson which I enjoyed
and went for this one too