The Guard review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
‘The Guard’ is about, well, the guard played by Irish character actor Brendan Gleeson. As Sgt. Gerry Boyle, Gleeson is unafraid to be an impish man of the law. See, Boyle is responsible for the scenic coastal Connemara territory. But the idyllic location may be picturesque yet it’s a hub of criminality – drugs, booze, prostitutes – you name it, they’ve got it. And you know how Boyle keeps the peace? It’s because he’s at peace with the hooligans – in fact, he is one of them! With Boyle’s hedonistic approach at law enforcement, you may want to projectile vomit at him. But Boyle is unusually adorable… to the viewers, anyway.
When an American FBI agent (Don Cheadle) comes to town and he gets partnered up with Boyle, sparks don’t exactly fly. But they have to work together to catch the FBI’s most wanted hoodlums. An Irishman (who just happens to be racist) and a staunch African-American as partners? Yes, disaster waiting to happen is the understatement of the year.
As ‘The Guard’, actor Brendan Gleeson doesn’t have to try too hard to convince us he’s a major douchebag but at least he’s an honest major douchebag. He has always been awesome in every role he plays. He’s done everything – serious gangster flicks, zombie movies , even a fantasy film – and he doesn’t even miss a beat.
Don Cheadle on the other hand, is just equally as fascinating. A real dramatic actor with comedic movie credits as well, Cheadle can go toe to toe with Gleeson. You can say ‘The Guard’ is a buddy cop flick but don’t say it’s just another ‘Lethal Weapon’. At the helm is writer-director John Michael McDonagh, the brother of Martin McDonagh, whom Gleeson has worked wonderfully in the film ‘In Bruges’.
‘The Guard’ could be part of that crime film anthology, what with its spitfire writing and focus on lovable ruffians going about their business in the criminal underworld, no biggie.