The Guard (2011) starring Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham, Fionnula Flanagan, Michael Og Lane, David Wilmot directed by John Michael McDonagh Movie Review

The Guard (2011)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Fionnula Flanagan and Brendan Gleeson in The Guard (2011)

Hot Irish Fuzz

Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson - Green Zone) has been a Guarda in a small Irish town for a long time and has his own special way of doing things, a laid back way which when he is not visiting his aging mother can be found with prostitutes. So when the straight laced Aidan McBride (Rory Keenan) is transferred to the station he is less than pleased, not only because Aidan is straight laced but because he is from Dublin. But that is only one inconvenience in Gerry's life when a car crash he was dealing with brings Agent Everett (Don Cheadle - Brooklyn's Finest) of the FBI to Ireland and whilst Gerry is not a racist his turn of phrase and sense of humour could be misconstrued for being such. But together Everett and Boyle must work together to try and crack the case.

I didn't mention one thing in that synopsis, when Gerry goes to investigate the car crash he rummages in the pockets of the dead driver looking for drugs, and on finding a tablet he takes it. That scene sets the scene for what to expect in "The Guard", it is darkly funny with a dead body and a laid back older cop taking drugs and what follows is a restless night for Gerry thanks to the trip. It also sets the scene when it comes to the language as within the first 10 minutes I stopped trying to count how many times the F-word is spoken as it slides into almost every sentence in an often unnoticeable way. It is so unforced it is funny and that is the joy of "The Guard", it is unforced but so funny.

Don Cheadle in The Guard (2011)

Now we do have a storyline as we have Boyle and Everett being an extreme odd couple when the FBI agent arrives as the car crash is connected to a drug lord case he is investigating. That actual crime story is full of fun thanks to us being served a collection of smart criminals with Mark Strong doing a fantastic job of playing one of them. But in truth whilst we have the crime story there is as much fun to come from the comedy between Boyle and Everett as Boyle's way of dealing with him could be misconstrued as intentionally racist. It isn't it is culture clash but it is a lot of fun with Everett bewildered by whether or not Boyle is dumb or smart due to his way of working.

Now there are a lot of people who deserve praise when it comes to "The Guard", writer and director John Michael McDonagh delivers this wonderful black comedy which in other hands could have gone off the boil but he keeps it constantly ticking it over and making you laugh. There are also the performances from the likes of Rory Keenan, Fionnula Flanagan, Mark Strong and Don Cheadle who deliver great characters, dry but amusing. But "The Guard" is owned by Brendan Gleeson whose every move, every slow look and every sentence is makes you smile and laugh. The thing is that in a way Gerry Boyle is an over the top character yet Gleeson makes him seem so natural that you would think Ireland was full of cops like him.

What this all boils down to is that "The Guard" is wicked fun with scene after scene of black comedy. It won't be for everyone, especially those who find constant swearing unbearable but for those who don't it is a constant stream of funny scenes, amusing dialogue and another stunning performance from Brendan Gleeson.