The Guard (2011)

Director: John Michael McDonagh

Writer: John Michael McDonagh

For about six months after this played at Sundance I was really excited for this movie because it was from the guy who did In Bruges.  Then I realized that In Bruges was made by Martin McDonagh not John Michael McDonagh.  But the same last name and Brendan Gleeson co-stars in both so close enough!

Anyway Maura and I saw this in Red Bank for free Tuesday and I laughed throughout.  It still did remind be a lot of In Bruges but also crossed with Hot Fuzz.  It takes place in a small Irish town where it turns out that there is a big drug deal going on and the seemingly lazy and incompetent Sergeant Boyle (Gleeson) is teamed up with the over achieving FBI agent Wendell Everett (Cheadle).  Boyle is of course seen as incompetent by us the audience because he is overweight and we have been trained to see someone of that size in the buffoon comedic sidekick role.  But Gleeson is never a caricature and clearly is a few moves ahead of most characters in the film who underestimate him.

The strongest bit of the film is the comedic dialogue.  The movie is not heavy on plot, mainly because it is just a pastiche of Hollywood buddy cop movie cliches (but knowingly so), and instead relies on the characters interactions.  It isn’t anything revolutionary but entertaining nonetheless.

Cheadle is the straight man in this scenario.  Part of the humor is also the “fish out of water story” with Cheadle playing a privileged American thrown into a small Irish town with Gaelic speaking people.  He is a fine enough foil for Gleeson who dominates most of the movie.

I would put this movie in the similar vain of In Bruges, In the Loop, Snatch or Hot Fuzz.  Lots of great quotable dialogue and a solid comedic performance from the always reliable Gleeson.

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About Jon Watches Movies

Watching a movie a day since January 1, 2011.
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