Gleeson sparkles in “The Guard”12/01/2012 - 16:09:06
(Cert 15, 92 mins, Comedy/Thriller/Action)
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and they don’t come in a more unlikely shape than small-town Irish police sergeant Gerry Boyle.
Overweight, cantankerous, foul-mouthed and partial to a dalliance with the local prostitutes, he’s a directionless man you would expect to break the law rather than uphold it – which makes Gerry the perfect, unlikely hero for John Michael McDonagh’s hilarious black comedy.
Gerry (Brendan Gleeson) is king of his windswept strip of the West Coast of Ireland and he’s more interested in booze than solving crime.
However, when newly arrived deputy Aidan McBride (Rory Keenan) goes missing and the officer’s wife Gabriela (Katarina Cas) begs for help, Gerry starts asking difficult questions.
Consequently, he is drawn into an international drugs ring controlled by Francis Sheehy (Liam Cunningham), Clive Cornell (Mark Strong) and Liam O’Leary (David Wilmot).
Straight-laced FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) turns up unexpectedly on Gerry’s patch to crack the ring and the two cops from opposite sides of the world forge a fragile alliance in the name of justice.
The Guard mercilessly lampoons the conventions of buddy cop movies and has great fun laughing with and at Gerry as his unorthodox approach reaps surprising results.
Gleeson savours every potty-mouthed tirade and there are some wonderful verbal exchanges with Cheadle as the man with the badge who takes one look at the finest that Ireland has to offer and wonders aloud, “I can’t tell if you’re really dumb or really smart.”
He’s very smart, just like McDonagh’s film.
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