It might sound like the story of a small town policeman in the west of Ireland would be a fairly low key affair but The Guard is no ordinary story and Brendan Gleeson’s Gerry Doyle is no ordinary policeman.
A bit like the old Comic Strip movie The Supergrass, the plot here centres around drug smuggling in an unassuming coastal hideaway. There are also elements of the buddy cop genre; unlikely personalities teaming up to solve the big case. In lesser hands that might have descended into familiar material but the star and director are clearly comfortable in each other’s company, treating the script with the gusto which made In Bruges such a superb film.
Doyle is not deliberately corrupt but taking acid on duty, cavorting with prostitutes and mishandling evidence is not at all textbook behaviour. Nevertheless you side with this loveable rogue. He is the guard against small town problems but the body count is starting to rise.
We follow a storyline that is never about the whodunit as much as how Doyle’s flawed but determined character will outwit the antagonists. One step ahead of Don Cheadle’s FBI agent, who fills the fish out of water role perfectly, Gleeson gives The Guard a dark joy that pays off predictably but enjoyably with the audience wondering if they should have believed an earlier boast of his.
Fourth at the Olympics? Really? Heads to Wikipedia…..