Sergeant Gerry Boyle is a small-town cop in Ireland with a rather different view on his job than usual. He does things his own way, doesn’t rush into anything, has a love for prostitutes and doesn’t like people interfering with his business.
When a stranger is found dead in his town and reports come in that a gang of criminals may use his village to bring a huge batch of coke into the country, he gets teamed up with ambitious FBI agent Wendell Everett who for sure will never forget the day he first met Boyle.
Sound and Vision:
The Guard comes with a dreary color palette that perfectly fits the atmosphere but the black levels aren’t always consistent and the picture at times has a rather soft look.
The sound focuses mostly on the front center with clean dialogue but little more. Rears are hardly used and the few action scenes could use a bit more punch. However, this is probably mostly due to budget constraints.
The Guard is a comedy that has been given a ton of praise by many critics, mostly thanks to the excellent performance of Brendan Gleason who acts like he couldn’t care less about anything except those that are close to him. And in fact I have to agree with that as Gleeson indeed does a tremendous job.
However, in my opinion that doesn’t make for a fantastisc comedy everyone now should go out and buy. The Guard isn’t your “laughing out loud” type of movie and the jokes are under the surface and mostly related to some comments made by Gleeson or some strange behaviour of certain characters. In retrospect, what makes The Guard funny is that it’s as if nobody cares and everyone treats everything as if it’s business as usual. Criminals bringing coke into the country? Nothing to get upset about. A man being murdered? Let’s not push ourselves to find the killer. Cops being bribed? Business as usual.
In fact, the beginning of the movie actually portrays that very well and sets the tone for the rest of the movie. A bunch of teenagers are driving at high speed, pass Gerry Boyle who barely looks up. When they crash a few meters further, Boyle slowly walks over to check out what happened and clearly isn’t in a rush to help out. It’s Boyle being a bit “off” that makes things funny, but again: not the “laughing out loud” kinda funny.
So conclusion: great acting by Gleeson, some good under-the-surface jokes, but definitely not something everyone will be able to appreciate.