“The Guard” is a really f—ing funny cop film set in Ireland.

Irish actor Brenden Gleeson has had supporting roles in films like “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and “Green Zone”. This time around, he has a leading role set in home country where he co-stars with an American Oscar-nominated actor in “The Guard”.

As the sound of N.E.R.D’s “Rock Star” blares out in the opening sequence of “The Guard”, we are treated to a “Fast & Furious”-like scene where we see two kids driving at high-speed in a red sports car. However, this car eventually crashes where Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brenden Gleeson) approaches the crash site, confiscates drugs from the body of one of the boys and says “What a beautiful f—ing day”.

Boyle is a naive and sometimes clueless Irishman policeman in the village of Galway, Ireland small town. He has no interest with the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) to Galway because it happens to occur on his only day off. However, several things happens to Boyle that gets him embroiled with the investigation that includes his new partner missing, hookers blackmailing him and drug traffickers trying to buy him off. When Boyle decides to take matters into his own hands, he seeks the support of Everett to help him take down the bad guys.

“The Guard” is a hilarious and interesting take on the buddy cop movie because of its Irish setting. The film’s clever script written by John Michael McDonagh and the pairing of Gleeson with Cheadle is makes this film quite memorable and sometimes unforgettable at times.

Three years after the release of his brother Martin’s first full-length film “In Bruges”, his brother John Michael McDonagh makes his directorial debut with “The Guard”. “The Guard” is a hilarious and interesting take on the buddy cop movie because of its Irish setting. The opening sequence is one of the most memorable opening scenes this year because it sets the tone for this film and it introduces the main character that we will get to know as the movie progresses. He also takes familiar formulas that we have seen from other films whether it is a fish out of water tale or an odd couple pairing to add some refreshing and welcoming new elements to this crime flick.

The characters and the actors who portrayed these characters are just as colorful and profane as the characters in “In Bruges”. Instead of two hit men, we get Brenden Gleeson and Don Cheadle as two cops from different parts of the world and different methods of investigation. Whether they are exchanging banter with one another or just hanging out at a bar drinking their sorrows away, these scenes with Gleeson and Cheadle are truly terrific. The bad guys in the film are just as entertaining thanks to the brilliant casting of Liam Cunningham, Mark Strong and David Wilmont; along with a young boy who is always riding a bicycle and plays the useful role as an informer for Boyle to get information from.

Despite how many colorful and interesting characters there are in “The Guard”, Brenden Gleeson delivers his most memorable performance to date. His heart is the right place, even when his racial statements (which he blames on his Irish heritage) and filthy mouth gets him in trouble. There are scenes in the movie whether or not there is a method behind his cluelessness because there are hints to some kind of intelligence and wit from Boyle. It is best summarized by Everett when he says to him, “I can’t tell if you’re really f—ing dumb or really f—ing smart.”

There are some things in “The Guard” that I had a few problems with. There were a couple of times in the film where the dialogue is a bit muddled because of how fast they are talking in which would subtitles would have been useful. The ending to the movie is very ambiguous as it questions the fate of one of the characters that does not seem be resolved by the time the end credits roll.

The bickering tandem and chemistry between Brenden Glesson and Don Cheadle makes “The Guard” is a unique buddy cop movie that also has a clever script and a variety of colorful characters that are just as interesting as the main characters.

“The Guard”: 4.5 stars out of 5

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