Star rating – 7/10
Probably not the Connemara Tourist Board’s perfect film, but ‘The Guard’ is a wittily dry, black comedy about a cop who is, despite all appearances and his best attempts, quite good at his job really. Brendan Gleeson stars as likeable Sergeant Gerry Boyle, and while this film is not as good as ‘In Bruges’, it is gentle and funny with a bit of action when really needed.
Don Cheadle is a good foil to the overweight, and not over bothered Boyle. He plays an FBI hotshot who comes to Ireland in search of the perpetrators of a high value narcotics smuggling operation. Boyle’s slobbish casual racism and pretence at foolishness belie a razor sharp mind, when he can be bothered to engage it.
There are amusing discussions about favourite philosophers amongst the baddies; and debates about the merits of Russian classic novels between Boyle and his terminally ill mother. But it is really Gleeson who makes and shines in the film, which is nicely done, and very funny, but may not please those looking for more action and less irony.