Monday, September 5, 2011

'The Guard' is a savvy Irishman

I stumbled upon The Guard while trying to find something interesting to catch at the cinema over the long weekend. With a combined critic and audience rating of 93% on Flixter we figured it was a pretty safe bet that at the very least the film would be entertaining. Oh was it ever.

Set in rural Ireland, the film centers around Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brenden Gleeson) an unorthodox Policeman who stumbles into an international drug smuggling ring operating in his tiny town. When straight laced FBI agent Wendell Everrett (Don Cheadle) shows up tracking the smugglers and is forced to work with the unabashedly inappropriate Boyle, an unlikely partnership is born.

Gleeson's Boyle is an absolute riot from start to finish. Foul mouthed, often racist and threatening, yet oddly moral, Boyle's believability is what holds this film together. The interplay between Cheadle and Gleeson, though perhaps predictable, is also well handled. These are two men who under ordinary circumstances would not interact but who are brought together by the case at hand, this is not going to be the friendship of the ages. Secondary characters are handled with surprising dexterity and while not spotlighted, seem to be fairly well fleshed out.

The plot itself is predictable but often that is what you want in a comedy of this nature. Certainly the jokes are what makes this one worth watching, and it is. If you're a fan of dry wit and lots of drinking (I'm almost certain there are maybe two scenes where Gleeson does not have at least two drinks in hand), then this one's for you. Playing only in select theaters though, so check your local listings.

My rating: 3 out of 4

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