Brendan Gleeson is a force to be reckoned with as Sergeant Gerry Boyle, a small town cop living outside of Galway in Christopher Michael McDonagh’s new film The Guard. Don Cheadle and Liam Cunningham turn in solid supporting role performances, but the the heart of this film and why you want to see it is because of Sergeant Boyle; a man who’s either “really motherfucking dumb or really motherfucking smart,” in the words of Don Cheadle’s character. You will see this movie and you will want to see it again.
Check out the review below.
- Writer/Director: John Michael McDonagh
- Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham
Sergeant Boyle fits the standard of the hardboiled detective like a glove, and he does it with style. He’s flippant and hard nosed, but at the same time he knows what his priorities are: whores and recreational drugs trump police work every time. He doesn’t show any strong allegiances to anyone, returning a store of guns and explosives to the IRA (after confiscating a few pieces, including an AK-47 and a derringer for himself). Sergeant Boyle would prefer just to be left alone to do his thing, and that isn’t a problem until a drug-related murder sucks him into an FBI investigation.
At face-value, this film might come off as somewhat shallow. I think people will compare it to Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Specifically, the murdering, drug dealing villains, including Liam Cunningham as Francis Sheehy, sound and look a little like the criminals from Snatch. But The Guard, having such a strong, humorous character as the protagonist balances the comedy and the hard edges with a little more emotional depth than either of those films. It manages to show real love, grief and character development without being sentimental or mushy and without losing any of its momentum.
Without giving away too much, the finale involves a good old-fashioned, wild-west-style gunfight. Our hero proves that though he may not pay allegiance to anyone, he has integrity and is a genuine badass.
This is a definite must-see film which I am sure will do well in theaters. It has action, comedy, suspense, and proper macho charisma. The Brendan Gleeson’s character completely absorbs you from beginning to end and leaves you wanting more.