'The Guard' it one of those films which come along every now and then and it gives you more than you bargained for. I had no doubt that I would enjoy this film, a brief look at the promo clips and straight off I got the sense that I would be introduced to a great character by way of Sergeant Gerry Boyle played by the wonderful Brendan Gleeson.
I expected great characters, I expected great humour, a fast and engaging storyline, and I was not disappointed. What I didn’t expect was the amazing mix of light and dark, wit and sarcasm, low life, reality, sharp, fast, emotionally engaging, perfectly balanced mix, which waltzed with racism, drugs, hard hitting reality, on the edge characters with more than the usual surface level of personality dished out to achieve a good movie, no, no, what I got were characters on many levels, layers that made each of them whole, real, alongside the raw but exciting mix of great script writing, every word, line, every event, each member of the cast, mixed together in an utterly marvellous evening’s entertainment.
So you guessed it, I liked it, I liked it in bucket loads, because it not only entertained the audience, it held it , tested it, flirting with PC issues, war, drugs, prostitution, death, love, corruption, people on the margins, and some downright fucked up bad guys, and delivered it all in an utterly wonderful, hilarious, dark comedy that in my opinion, was an utter triumph.
Do yourself a favour, go see this movie!
Review & Brief Story Intro - Vue Cinema Liffey Valley
Gleeson is veteran Officer Sergeant Gerry Boyle, a bit of a rogue cop who marches by the beat of his own drum. When a drug smuggling ring headed by Liam Cunningham and Mark Strong's criminals sets up shop on Boyle's turf, the FBI send Cheadle's decorated agent to oversee the investigation. While not getting off to a great start - Boyle raises his hand during a briefing to ask the FBI Agent if he is "from the hood" - the two men soon come to share a mutual respect, and team up to investigate the case.
Brendan Gleeson embodies Gerry Boyle so completely perfectly that you won't be able to fathom anyone else playing the man after you leave the cinema. Like a great tennis player, his performance instantly raises the game of those around him and the Howth native gives arguably the best performance of the year so far. Cheadle and Strong have far less to do, but both men obviously understood the tone of the script and deliver solid supporting performances, while Cunningham is great as the quintessential Dublin gang boss.