The Twenty-First Century

The Guard [2011]

Being completely unfamiliar with the story, I came to this movie as a blank state, with no expectations. After a solid start, I was enveloped in the spirit of an old fashioned good cop bad cop story. I only wish I felt the same way when the film ended. “The Guard” feels like one of those movies that would probably play better at home than overseas. It’s an Irish Indie production, and our main lead is Brendan Gleeson, who stars as Gerry Boyle, a sergeant in a small Irish village who enjoys the simplicity of his job as it affords him plenty of extra time to enjoy his favorite pastimes like drinking, visiting his mother, entertaining prostitutes, and drinking some more. Sweet. However, when a kid turns up dead in what appears to be a gang hit, Boyle and his young colleague are drawn into a larger, international drug smuggling investigation. American FBI agent Wendell Everett (the great Don Cheadle) is also called over, to supervise the investigation. Sounds almost clichéd right? And it is in a way. From then on, “The Guard” is never as amusing as its premise. Gleeson, who was terrific in 2008’s “In Bruges” is in fine form here; a cynical, rude and vulgar cop who doesn’t care much for consequences. “The Guard” is at its best when Gleeson is on screen. Which is why I felt bored every time the camera wasn’t on him. And by the end of the picture I was relieved, not impressed.  Maybe I don’t get Irish humor, or maybe the movie does in fact suck. Either way, that doesn’t account for my overall indifference to the movie.

Rating: 2/4

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