HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Guard, The On Garda
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 1983 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: