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DVD Review - The Guard

13 Dec 2011
Brendan Gleeson's comedy hits home video
Fresh from international success and a rousing €4 million at the Irish box office, The Guard is coming to home video where it’s bound to earn even more fans.

The story centres on Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Gleeson), a less than conventional garda plying his trade with gusto in Galway. When an international drug smuggling ring moves in on the town, he forms an unlikely team with straight-laced FBI man Don Cheadle to take them down.

The feature debut from writer/director John Michael McDonagh (read our interview), The Guard is a blackly comic riot, borne along by a towering central performance from Brendan Gleeson. He inhabits Gerry Boyle totally, surrendering to his casual racism and nailing the delivery of McDonagh’s strong dialogue.

Gleeson is so good that he helps distract from the rather slight script, which never really finds a compelling narrative. Supporting characters are likewise less memorable, including a wasted Mark Strong, but The Guard remains one of the best Irish films we’ve seen for many a year.

Extras: Commentary with the director plus Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, a behind the scene doc, deleted scenes and out-takes. You’ll also find John Michael McDonagh’s 2000 short film The Second Death.