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The Guard
Directed by John Michael McDonagh
Ireland, 2011
Cornerhouse, 21 August 2011

The Guard

Do not be put out by the lamentable under-appreciation of Russian literature evidenced by Brendan Gleeson’s police officer.

He proves himself a good copper, capable and perceptive.

The film is a rather fine comedy drama centreing around a spot of smuggling in the West of Ireland.  Wendell Everett, an FBI officer played by Don Cheadle, comes over to lend a hand to the locals; and he and Garda Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) strike up an unlikely alliance.  It is full of smart dialogue and efficient, fast-moving action and, while not terribly original, it is immensely entertaining.  There’s a witty commentary on genre conventions but no radical departure from them.

And as for the likes of Chekhov, Bunin, Isaac Babel and Daniil Kharms…  Well, sure they made their point fairly pronto.