The Guard review

When a cocaine shipment makes its way to a sleepy Irish backwater amidst several murders an FBI agent forms an unlikely partnership with an unorthodox local policeman.

Starting a review by highlighting the director is the older brother of Martin McDonagh, general genius playwright and director of In Bruges, hoping some of said genius is genetic, raising expectations, and comparing The Guard to the utterly magnificent Irish Belgian gangster flick with which the Irish Irish gangster flick shares quite a few, at the very least superficial, similarities, including a wonderfully dark sense of humour, just isn’t fair. So I won’t do it.

Brendon Gleeson, as a no-bullshit, philosophical reprobate, is brilliant and the rest of the cast complete what is the strongest element of the film. Unfortunately, the plot is a little flimsy and the direction, although competent, is one of the weakest elements. Several potentially wildly funny moments just aren’t pushed far enough and what the hell the sprinkling of cutaway images is supposed to achieve I have no idea.

Full of character, funny, but could be funnier, it’s not the greatest dark comedy ever made but dark comedy is always welcome and you could do a lot worse.

3 out of 5

24th Aug 2011 | Official site | On IMDb