“Guard” Your Ears and Conscience
Release Date: July 29, 2011
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle,
Liam Cunningham, Mark Strong,
David Wilmot, Fionnula
Genre: Crime Comedy
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 96 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics/Sony
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Executive Producer: Martin McDonagh, Don Cheadle,
Lenore Zerman, Ralph Kamp, Tim
Smith, Paul Brett, David Nash
Producer: Chris Clark, Flora Fernandez
Marengo, Ed Guiney, Andrew
Writer: John Michael McDonagh
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com; Email: Sony_Classics@spe.sony.com
[SPOILERS FOLLOW] As they follow the trail of a massive amount of money and drugs that have gone missing near the town, Boyle’s usual police partner disappears, and Boyle discovers his usual hooker is trying to scare him off the trail of all the wrongdoing. Ultimately, Boyle is tempted with bribes from the traffickers. He decides he has to do something right for once, however, so he lures them into a final, guns-blazing showdown. Yet even here, as he appears to be dead from an explosion that sets a boat packed with illicit money aflame, the viewer is left wondering whether Boyle has pulled off his biggest scam yet as it’s unclear whether he ever actually died, or in fact managed to escape with the ill-gotten fortune in drug money.
THE GUARD is definitely clever and rather unique, with its use of a seemingly bucolic small Irish town as a backdrop for insidious criminal endeavors. Cheadle and Gleeson play off each other in highly amusing fashion as well. They put a fresh spin on the timeworn, clichéd genre of black-white buddy-cop movies. Also, the use of unusual classic oldies mixed with wildly inventive instrumental rock by the band Calexico adds to the movie’s feel of a Tarantino-style crime comedy.
A very few moviegoers might appreciate a mystery that actually twists all the way to the end, but THE GUARD draws much of its humor from the celebration of illicit behavior, including prostitution and drug use. Also, much of its spicy dialogue relies far too much on easy profanities and obscenities. Overall, beware to “guard” your mind and ears from the nonstop, excessive foul language and parade of corrupt behavior.
Viewers might appreciate this well-acted, clever, funny crime thriller that provides twists all the way to the end, but THE GUARD draws much of its humor from the celebration of illicit behavior, including prostitution and drug use. Also, much of its spicy dialogue relies far too much on easy, frequent profanities and obscenities. Thus, viewers will have to “guard” their minds and ears from THE GUARD’s nonstop, excessive foul language and parade of corrupt behavior.