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The Guard 2011

Sgt Gerry Boyle is a cop with a subversive sense of humour, a liking for hookers and no interest in the cocaine smuggling ring that's brought an FBI agent to his door. But when the agent disappears, his favourite hooker blackmails him and the drug traffickers try to buy him off, so Boyle decides to take control.

Starring:
Ronan Collins, Paraic Nialand
Runtime:
1 hour, 32 minutes

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Customer Reviews

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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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Format: Blu-ray
There are countless films about maverick cops who take the law into their own hands, they are usually self-styled and sexy with no respect for authority and attract reluctant admiration by their superiors and peers. Sergeant Gerry Boyle isn't quite one of those, he's an overweight policeman from a who's disillusioned with life, his job, and breaks rule not to get the job done but because he simply doesn't care that much anymore.

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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just saw this at the cinema. I laughed out loud. I appreciated the characters. I have written the first ever review of a film on this site. I will be recommending this to other people. Need I say more?
It's low budget, swears a lot, and very very non pc - but a good film none the less.
I will buy it when it's on DVD. Definitely worth watching.
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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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