HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
Glass
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
Bumblebee
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Tucked
Widows
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
November
Arcadia
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Suspiria
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
Undercover
White Chamber
R.P.M.
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
Survive!
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
   
 
  Guard, The On GardaBuy this film here.
Year: 2011
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot, Rory Keenan, Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan, Dominique McElligott, Sarah Greene, Katarina Cas, Pat Shortt, Laurence Kinlan, Gary Lydon, Michael Og Lane
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is a policeman in rural Ireland whose idea of thrilling cop action is to watch boy racers crash their cars, go over to survey the damage, then help himself to any pills they might have had on them as they lie dead or unconscious in the road. But one day there is a real crime to take care of when a man is discovered murdered in a remote cottage, a bullet through his brain, a plant pot in his lap, and the number five and a half written on the wall above the body. Boyle has a new sidekick, McBride (Rory Keenan), but he's not much help...

Not to a man who doesn't suffer fools gladly, but is Boyle himself as much of a fool as he actually seems? The Guard was one of the most successful Irish films ever, mostly thanks to the fanbase that In Bruges had enjoyed and many flocked to this hoping for the same kind of laughs. Why In Bruges? Because this was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, brother of the writer of that film, and they both starred one of the best exponents of the rumpled, world-weary, middle aged man in acting, Gleeson. Thus comparisons were made, but if anything this was the better film, not by much, but in its ramshackle way this was a complete success.

It was assembled like a shaggy dog story, so it was no coincidence that for a lot of this it came across like a yarn being spun to you as you sat in the pub by a raconteur especially skilled at commanding the room. In essence it was an Irish version of the Hollywood buddy movie which would often feature mismatched cops, but McDonagh was well aware of how clich├ęd that would appear, so did his best to undercut every old convention in a way that commented on the country's preoccupation with entertainment from the other side of the Atlantic. This may have been a rough and ready comic set up of Don Cheadle's straightlaced FBI agent flailing in his investigation, but it was not content to lazily recycle all the stuff you'd seen before.

Yes, it was predictable that Boyle and Cheadle's Wendell Everett would not get on, but this was more complex than that. Boyle's trouble was that he was not as stupid and irresponsible as he appeared, and as we see in the scenes with his dying mother (Fionnula Flanagan) he is actually quite a lonely man, and only going to be lonelier once she dies so no amount of drugs, drink and prostitutes are going to ease that condition. Thus he is in the perfect situation to prove his integrity, as he will be the only one willing to stand up to the corruption he sees around him and the criminals who have such influence he won't last long when he does make that stand. Gleeson fed that sadness into his portrayal, but there was more to him.

This was a comedy, after all, and the star was truly hilarious as he blankly makes amusing observations, acts eccentrically, and generally proves a thorn in the side of all those he has to deal with - lawmakers as well as lawbreakers. What was particularly satisfying was McDonagh twigged that underneath these police procedural movies he was simultaneously sending up and indulging was another genre, the Western, and if you didn't latch onto that when you heard Calexico's soundtrack playing, the grand finale where Boyle proves his worth would definitely make you realise that was what they were getting at. Before that, here was proof that it was possible to take a fresh approach to a style that could have easily been tired, and much of that was down to the disparity between what Wendell is used to in the States and what Boyle was used to in West Ireland. The fact that even a half a billion dollars worth of drug smuggling could be cut down to size there was a source of much of the satisfaction.

[Studio Canal's DVD has a bunch of extras, including a making of, deleted and extended scenes, outtakes and even a whole other (short) film.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1393 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: