Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Guard Review

Karl gets the Broadway Theatre calender emailed to him.  When he saw this one, he knew he had to suggest we see it together.  When I saw that it was an Irish comedy about an oddball local cop and a straight laced FBI agent trying to solve a crime in a small Irish coastal town, I knew I had to see it too.  If you follow this web log, you've probably figured out that I like almost anything that has to do with that part of the world.  And The Guard is no exception.

First off, the movie is flat out funny; even with dialogue that is, at times, very difficult to follow and understand due to the thick accents.  Most (if not all) of the jokes still come through and there's very little that is lost from a cultural clash.  They also overcome the potential for misunderstanding with the fact that the context is never too confusing.  You always know what's going on even when a movie like this has the potential to get a bit confusing.  They never try to give too many twists and turns that crime movies try to do.  On the plus side, you get to focus on the humour and don't have to think too much.  On the downside, it gets a bit predictable.  There is very little subtlety in the foreshadowing events and, as a result, no real surprises.  There is no real depth to any characters.  Even though they try to make Boyle a bit of an enigma, that never really goes anywhere significant which is a bit of a drawback and a bit confusing at times.

That notwithstanding, the movie does what it sets out to do.  It makes the viewer laugh.  The deadpan deliveries of great writing are mixed with some really good physical comedy to make it entertaining all the way through.  I thought it was going to slow down a bit about 3/4 of the way through but it was a very brief speed bump.  I originally thought it would focus a bit more on Don Cheadle's character and make it a real "Lethal Weapon" type of movie.  But they rightly realized that would be a mistake and let the focus be on Brendan Gleeson and Cheadle could be Frank Schuster to his Johnny Wayne (you have to be Canadian to get that reference but it's the most apt I can think of).

See it.  Especially if you want a good laugh for an hour and a half.

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