directed by John Michael McDonagh
reviewed by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
The guard of the title is Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) of the Galway Garda in Western Ireland. Garda means policeman in Irish, so the movie should, actually, be called The Cop, and, in a way, The Guard is a cop movie. But one you have not seen before.
The story starts with Sergeant Boyle getting to the scene of a car crash and helping himself to some acid he finds in the pocket of one of the dead victims.
“It’s a beautiful day,” he announces to the world at large. But soon his life gets complicated. It starts with the finding of a dead man, a cult murder it seems, followed by the disappearance of his new partner from Dublin and the arrival of a FBI agent from America to stop the smuggling of half a billion worth of drugs into Ireland.
“Is that street value?” our guard asks his counterpart FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) as the later briefs the Calway forces. And then, unperturbed by agent Wendell cool stare, he goes on to explain that they must be buying drugs in different streets because, in his, they are not worth that much.
Sergeant Boyle is not concerned about the drug smuggling, he has a murder to solve and a partner to find. But first, he takes a day off to indulge his erotic fantasies with two call girls he hires from Dublin.
Yes, Sergeant Boyle is quite an unorthodox cop. Yet, somehow, he is easy to root for. He loves his mother, for one, and bursts outrageously politically incorrect remarks with a straight face that makes us wonder whether he is totally clueless or pulling our leg. Agent Wendell wonders that too. And, as the story unfolds, his relationship with the Irish cop progresses from total disgust to guarded respect.
The Guard is a great laugh aloud movie, where nothing is sacred, even the IRA is brought into the mixture to comical effect. And the bad guys, cold blooded killers as they are, quote Bertrand Russell and Nietzsche, wonder on the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath and complain about the quality of people they are forced to deal with in their line of business. And, for a split second, you almost sympathize with them.
You can watch the trailer by clicking below. Warning: Vulgarities ahead.