by Joanna Orland
The Guard was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (Ned Kelly) who is not surprisingly brother to In Bruges writer-director Martin McDonagh. With a similar dry Irish humour and odd couple premise as In Bruges, The Guard sees Brendan Gleeson reprise his role as a cynically sarcastic Irish tough guy, with much of an homage to his character of the former film. The film also stars Don Cheadle as an American FBI agent who is paired with Gleeson’s character in their hunt for an international ring of cocaine smugglers, played by Mark Strong (the baddie from Kick-Ass) and Liam Cunningham – both excellent at playing villains!
If you liked In Bruges, odds are you will like The Guard. It’s not as smart or sassy as In Bruges, but Gleeson is excellent at delivering humourous lines in such a dry fashion that you’d be forgiven if you’d missed a witty remark or two. Don Cheadle doesn’t hold a candle to Colin Farrell, but it’s all about Gleeson anyway – Cheadle does a good job at playing the straight man. The two men’s relationship, while developed by the end of the film, again isn’t as sentimental or as gripping as Gleeson and Farrell in that In Bruges film that seems to be ruining my opinion of The Guard. So…
Let’s back it up a bit – The Guard is a very good film in its own right. I recommend viewing it based on Gleeson’s performance and an excellent script!