Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Guard - Preview Review


Pic courtesy of Movies.ie


The Mammy & I had the good fortune thanks to the kind folks at movies.ie to tootle along to the preview of The Guard last night in Movies@Swords.

John Michael McDonagh, screenwriter of Ned Kelly debuted this aptly genre titled Black Irish Comedy at the Sundance Festival this year to great acclaim. It’s interesting to note that the last truly brilliant Irish comedy starring Brendan Gleeson that debuted at last years festival, In Bruges, was the baby of John’s brother Martin. They grew the Directors sharp in that family.

I did have concerns in the first 20 mins that we were bordering dangerously close to Darby O’ Gill territory with plenty of F’s & not a lot of tact but was quickly and happily proven wrong as the movie and the plot picked up pace. Throw a brutal murder, drug smuggling, tests in morality and the barren landscape of the ‘wesht’ and the scene is set. The soundtrack, perfectly chosen supports the movie brilliantly.

Enter Don Cheadle as an FBI agent with the initial impression that he’s a big fish in a little pond but he quickly realises he’s out of his depth altogether and floundering with only the gloriously unPC and refreshingly dry Gleeson’s character Sgt Boyle to assist him. (Who, in my opinion, provides us with a hilarious nod to Daniel Craig; you’ll know it when you see it).

There are laugh out loud moments and situations, which the whole cinema enjoyed. These were provided by the support cast too, namely Liam Cunningham and Mark Strong but to say the others didn’t add their own gravitas would be doing them a disservice.

This film shows once more Gleeson’s outstanding ability to take a role and make it his own, McDonagh certainly provided a sharp yet subtle dialogue but I can’t imagine any other actor having the comic timing or the on screen presence to pull this movie off, because it is his movie. A personal highlight for me was the beautiful relationship he held with his ailing mother, whom I believe is the only character to truly know Sgt. Boyle.

Don Cheadle’s character at one point says to Gleeson, ‘I can’t decide if you’re really motherfu*kin’ smart or really motherfu*kin’ dumb’, I’ve decided and you should definitely get yourself along to this movie to decide for yourself.
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