The Guard (Ireland, 2011)

Directed by: John Michael McDonagh. Anyone who was drawn to this probably is a fan of either Don Cheadle (and why wouldn’t they be?) or Brendan Gleeson (and why wouldn’t they be?) or In Bruges, which, if it seems similar in its dark humour to this film, it’s because the directors are brothers. The McDonaghs make me think of what it would be like if the Coen brothers had a bit darker a sense of humour, were a bit more crass, and decided to make movies separately. This is a lovely little comedy, immediately addictive and rewatchable, not because it’s a flawless film, a knockout comedy, full of fascinating characters or anything like that, but because it’s a lot of fun. There are a lot of laughs in this movie (maybe more than In Bruges), and unlike most lame American comedies you see everywhere that spend a lot of gratuitous scenes trying to convince you how compelling and sympathetic the characters are, this one just does it. The first two minutes of the movie are enough to win over everyone to this guy—“Beautiful fuckin’ day.” I want to watch this movie again, actually. It’s a great, awkward little spaghetti western set in Galway, the remote backwater of Ireland where they still speak Irish (of all things). Don Cheadle is as good as he’s ever been, and if he and Gleeson are smart, they’ll all push for a sequel. Why not? It’s good fun, and this film is far too short. Liam Cunningham does a great job as a hilarious and memorable villain. Also, a nice little bonus on the DVD was McDonagh’s short film “The Second Death”, also with Cunningham, which was really memorable, and hints at some dramatic potential for this guy.

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One response to “The Guard (Ireland, 2011)

  1. Pingback: Calvary (Ireland/UK, 2014) | Offhand Reviews·

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