DVD Review: The Guard

| January 16, 2012 | Comments (1)

Out now on DVD, The Guard is a potent mix of Western tropes, slick black comedy and American cop procedurals, and although it may sound cluttered, it is actually a fairly smooth concoction. It tells the story of a Garda dealing with drug runners and corruption in a modern, if still oddly timeless, Ireland. Brendan Gleeson excels as the main focus; his character-actor sensibilities complementing a leading-man flair, which has been too long dormant. Playing The General, or say Michael Collins, threatened to make him iconic, but the essaying of historical characters always dominates a role. With The Guard he is allowed to create a character from scratch and the nuances he brings to the role of Sgt. Gerry Boyle are a masterclass in how to combine pathos with biting humour. Don Cheadle’s straight-laced FBI agent is left to navigate the eccentricities of this man and provides the film with a charming fish-out-of-water dimension.

Occasionally ever so slightly self-satisfied, the film works due to its balance. Despite some heavy themes, it is never too bleak nor does its emotional core ever become too sentimental or cloying. A modern gem but not for the politically-correct crowd, that’s for sure.

Emmet O’Brien

  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Jan 2012
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Category: DVD reviews, Reviews

Comments (1)

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  1. Fiachra says:

    Does anyone else find this movie to be laughably overrated? A decade from now everyone will wonder what the fuss was about. Take off those blinkers Film Ireland!

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