The Guard

The poster describes ‘The Guard’ as Father Ted meets Bad Lieutenant, what because he’s Irish and a corrupt policeman, lazy journalism. It neither has the intelligence and wit of Father Ted or the balls to wall nastiness of said Lieutenant. The reason I like ‘In Bruges’ (another film it has been miss-compared to) and ‘In the Loop’ was the imaginative use of swearing, unlike here where just putting the f**k bomb every other word is neither big nor clever. Judging from the font of the titles and the use of Calexico on the soundtrack the director clearly wants to be Irelands answer to Tarantino but the script and the direction fall way short of touching the heights of (early) QT. The other thing that bothered me was the mild racism with Sergeant Gerry Boyle often spouting about things that black people can’t do (swim, ski) and why were they looking for white drug smugglers when they are all clearly black, his constant get out excuse being that he was Irish therefore its o.k., once would have been funny maybe but to revisit the joke several times was just tedious. Brendan Gleeson was great as Gerry but I can’t help that think he would have been better with a stronger film around him, at times it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be an offensive comedy or a gritty drama. The supporting cast has some big names Cheadle, Strong, Cunningham but all are underused really. Being part funded by the UK film council before its demise I would have expected more, I’m glad this film was made and is doing very well, sadly I just didn’t enjoy it.

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