Welcome to my very first movie review for this our so called “Blog”. For this post I’ve decided to give you my unique take on the Irish made movie “The Guard”. Whether we (Irish people) care to admit it or not, we do seem to cling to any sort of prestige or success that is in any way remotely Irish. So when a blockbuster movie was filmed in my lovely little town of Galway a couple of years ago with Irish actors and an Irish director, you just knew that people would latch onto it like a hippy to a pointless cause.
I must admit, I did not go to the movie in the first few weeks of it’s release which may have put a damper on my view, as I kept hearing from every man and his dog that the movie was “excellent” and “so good”. This was an exaggeration, the movie was enjoyable overall but I felt it was far from excellent.
The movie started off with an amazing opening scene. Sergeant Gerry Boyle who is the focal point of the movie, played by Brendan Gleeson is sat in his squad car with an indifferent expression on his face, a boy racers car comes flying past and crashes right in front of him, he gives no reaction and inspects the scene and bodies with complete indifference. When I saw the opening I got excited and thought this was going to be something special, something different. Sadly it was not.
As the movie goes on and the FBI agent Wendell Everett played by Don Cheadle, who is an excellent actor, joins the fray, the whole movie starts to come apart. Gleeson and Cheadle seemed to have good chemistry on screen together and maybe it’s simply bad editing but the dynamic of their relationship changed suddenly and not very organically. You just couldn’t get into the whole buddy concept of the two. It may have been due to the fact there was very little background on Evertett for him to be relatable as a character, let alone a warm character.
There was a scene in the middle of the movie when three characters which included a gangster, a prostitute and Boyle were in a diner discussing a bribe offer when all three go on some strange tangent and discuss instead, the song that is playing in the background. “Ode to Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry. It’s a great song but what the hell was the point in the characters talking about the song? Being Irish and growing up here I know that this song never gets air play, we don’t have a classics radio station so the fact all three know the song and can comment on it, is ridiculous. Then throw into the mix that one of the people giving her point of view on it is a prostitute. Next time you are with a hooker try giving her a quiz on music from the 60’s!. It’s almost as though the writer had the conversation from the scene with his friends and worked it into the movie, it didn’t derive from the plot at all. Almost seemed to aim to be cool, like it’s Pulp Fiction or something and tries to have cool dialogue! I feel like quoting Peter Griffin from Family Guy in his damning statement on The Godfather movie and say this scene “insists on itself” 🙂 Dave will get that joke.
Anyway, to wrap this up. Towards the end of this movie there’s a moment between Boyle and a somewhat pretty Eastern European lady who he vows to get justice for, due to the murder or her former husband (but not really…but just watch the movie because the explanation gives me a pain in my balls) . There’s an ‘I’m going to get them for you’ from Boyle and a love sick puppy look from her which didn’t seem to fit and frankly didn’t make sense given his age and appearance. Even if she wasn’t very good looking she was probably a bit too pretty for him for it to be believable. DIG!!
Overall the movie was enjoyable. The lack of a really solid script was made up for by some pretty good acting from Gleeson and some of his supporting actors. All of the gangsters were actually amazing in their roles, I came away from the movie thinking they deserve to get bigger and better roles from now on. Everyone I know that saw the movie thought it was great. So, why not give it a chance. If you read this again after seeing the movie let me know if you agree with what I have said or if you think I should fuck off with my cynicism.
I give this movie 3/5 and more importantly two Meh’s.
I just Blogged my Brains Out,