Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh
Starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle
Review by Seth Rogovoy
Sure, you’ve seen this story before: two unlikely buddies — here played by Irishman Brendan Gleeson as a somewhat eccentric small-town Irish police chief and African-American Don Cheadle as the big-shot FBI man sent to Gleeson’s out of the way seaside getaway to help nab international drug smugglers (a fascinating trio who quote Nietzsche and debate the virtues of Bertrand Russell) on a killing spree – who can barely utter a sentence without angering the other or stirring up resentment, but underneath the bravado and political incorrectness, both coming to love and respect the other.
But rarely have you seen it done with as much wit, understatement, and brilliant writing (if you can decipher it through the at times nearly impenetrably thick Gaelic accents) as it’s done with here, in a film likely to remind viewers of In Bruges, which also starred the brilliant Gleeson (with Colin Farrell), who here nearly walks away with the whole film (incidentally, that film was directed by writer/director John Michael McDonagh’s brother, Martin McDonagh – are these two the Irish Coen Brothers?).
The Guard plays at the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington, Mass., at least through Thursday, Oct 6, 2011.