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The Guard

September 14, 2011
The Guard
By: Megan Arnall
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Feel good movie of the summer? No. Hilarious Irish dark comedy with the multi-layered Brendan Gleeson (of Harry Potter, In Bruges, 28 Days Later) and always stylish Don Cheadle (Ocean’s 11-13, Iron Man 2, Crash). A resounding YES.
Why aren’t all independent movies like this? Well shot, the writing is spot on and you couldn’t ask for better actors playing their parts to the fullest.  Do yourself a favor and don’t watch the preview, they give away too much these days.  I am going to give you all you need to get your butt into a theater and watch this film. Why am I always writing lists you say? Maybe I’m highly organized, or maybe I am just too lazy to write a paragraph…you will never know 😉
Five Reasons Why You Should Go See The Guard:
  • Brendan Gleeson as a rural Irish police officer with a penchant for escorts, pints, finding ways to get under your skin and his mom
  • Don Cheadle as an uptight FBI agent whose reactions to all that he encounters are the perfect counterpart to Gleeson’s Boyle
  • A very, very angry drug smuggling Englishman named, Clive Cornell played by Mark Strong (The Eagle, Kick-Ass, Sherlock Holmes, Sunshine)
  • The scenery, hello…Ireland? I told you the movie is well shot, well the locations didn’t hurt in that respect
  • A few choice comments on how the IRA has managed to infiltrate MI5

Oh did I say 5? Well I have more…

  • Best use of a derringer in a film in the past decade
  • A host of 3-Dimensional characters- Bad guys who discuss philosophy and are annoyed by cops who doubt their integrity in criminal activities, an understatedly smart small town cop with a biting and profane sense of humor, an uptight American agent  with a killer sense of fashion and high levels of tolerance, a by the book cop with a secret life and more bravery than his entire department
  • 94% ON ROTTEN TOMATOES– if that isn’t enough right there then I don’t know what is!
In the end this film is foul-mouthed, culturally insensitive, unapologetic and a real gem at the end of Summer 2011.
Bonus:
Watch the movie and then revisit this fact.. Sergeant Gerry Boyle tells FBI agent Wendell Everett that he swam in the Men’s 1500 metre freestyle in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and came fourth. An Irish swimmer named Gerry Boyle actually did come fourth in that event in the Seoul 88 Olympics. (so says Wikipedia..)
Fun Stuff:

  • The cinematographer for this movie, Larry Smith, is known for his work with Kubrick on Eyes Wide Shut.
  • This is now the most successful independent Irish film of all time.
  • The writer/director, John Michael McDonagh is the brother of In Bruges director Martin McDonagh
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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2011 8:09 am

    Sounds interesting, i should check it out.

  2. Yannack permalink
    January 21, 2012 5:18 pm

    Sadly, Gerry Boyle never competed in the 1988 swimming Olympic Games. People keep vandalizing the Wikipedia page but the truth is that an American by the name of Matt Cetlinski came in fourth.
    Too bad, it would make for a terrific story ending 😦

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