The Guard (2011)
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Writer: John Michael McDonagh
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot
Language: English, Gaelic
MPAA Rating: R
Time: 96 minutes
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
USA Release: 7/29/2011 (Limited)
On DVD (USA): 1/3/2012
Awards: 1 BAFTA Award Nomination, 1 Golden Globe Nomination
Looking for a hilarious raunchy movie, than you have found it with “The Guard”. Between Gleeson and Cheadle you’ll be having one heck of a time while they bump heads trying to solve a crime. The movie has become critically acclaimed not only with the great performances by it’s leads but also with it’s wild and crazy story, that will have you wanting more.
“The Guard” is a story about an unorthodox Irish police officer (or guard) named Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) who gets teamed up with straight-laced FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle). The story follows after a mysterious murder occurs pointing to a serial killer, but when Agent Everett shows up to talk about 4 high profile criminals, it becomes clear that they were involved when Boyle see that one of them was the murder victim. Soon Boyle and Everett begin to track down the now 3 criminals that are suspected of drug trafficking. And while doing so start to understand a bit more about one other.
Now I’ve seen some foreign films, but I’m sort of new to Irish films in general. That being said the comedy in this was great and top notch, especially what’s done between Gleeson and Cheadle. But although to the most part I understood the jokes being said, there were a couple of times that they went right over my head. Anyways moving forward the directing and writing done by John Michael McDonagh was excellent. He combined a fantastic crime story with brilliant comedy making this the total entertainment package. And although the story isn’t necessarily fast paced or edge of your seat material, it meanders through keeping you mostly entertained by the comedy and the characters themselves. Another things that runs throughout the movie is the soundtrack that was make up of very unique song choices, especially the one that plays at the start of the movie. With this movie we get a look at how life in rural Ireland is, or at least how it is within this movie. We see that just like over here crime isn’t always happening, and murder is a very rare thing, more rare than over here. Also present is the perception that the Irish speak their mind no matter what it is. But that isn’t necessarily true of all Irish, same with them supposedly being very racist.
That being said all of those traits lie within the character of Gerry Boyle played by Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson does an outstanding job of giving you a character you are not quite sure about. Like Agent Everett says “I can’t tell if your really (bleeping) dumb or really (bleeping) smart.”. And that’s true throughout the movie, Gleeson leads you down many roads with the character and you are constantly surprised by what he ends up doing, although there are a few times you aren’t. The character of Boyle is a small town guard and although he may be seen as dumb he is smarter then he lets on. He also doesn’t take authority very well, and finds the logic the higher-ups use to be completely stupid. Gleeson shows a style that we (as Americans) may not be use to, he’s brilliantly funny and serious all at the same time, perfectly cast. As for Don Cheadle’s Agent Wendell Everett; he is very high strung and has no idea what to believe about Boyle, although their first meeting didn’t make the best first impression. He is use to a certain way of investigating and while in Ireland he is completely thrown off by how they investigate. Cheadle as always is extremely funny, between the two of them they are the ultimate due, bouncing comedy off one another. And also the both of them have outstanding comedic timing and work well together, I would love to see them work together again. The supporting cast, although were very background did very well. Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham, and David Wilmot are great as the group of suspected drug smugglers.
Overall, “The Guard” is a fun and entertaining movie, mostly because of Gleeson and Cheadle as it’s leads. Though this isn’t something that everyone will love, if you’re a fan of European movies and humor than you will absolutely love this. The story may not be super fast pace and thrilling all the way through, the humor is and that’s what make the movie so brilliant. So definitely add this to your list, you won’t be sorry.