There’re only three good cops left in the West of Ireland. One is a naïve young boy from Dublin starting his first day on the job (Rory Keenan). One is a straight laced city slicker from Texas sent by the F.B.I. (Don Cheadle) and Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is a hard drinkin’, hard talkin’, crack smokin’, cocaine sniffin’, LSD droppin’ Sergeant with a penchant for prostitutes.
It’s just another rainy day in Galway when Sgt. Boyle and his new partner from Dublin, Guarda McBride, are called to the scene of a murder with “overtones of the occult”. Unable to identify the victim, and with no credible suspects they draw a blank until F.B.I. agent Wendell Everett flies into town with a photo of their John Doe, naming him as part of a four man drug trafficking team on the F.B.I.’s most wanted list.
As if a dead body on their hands, sociopaths on the loose, half a billion Euros worth of cocaine about to show up on the West Coast isn’t enough for Sgt. Boyle on his day off. Add a 10 year old with a poodle, a pushbike and a bag full of AK47’s to the mix and the pressure to crack the case quickly is heightened.
Having picked up major awards at the Berlin and Sarajevo Film Festivals, The Guard combines a moving and nostalgic snapshot of West Irish culture with a frank and funny script and excellent individual performances. Gleeson memorably moulds Sherlock Holmes, Dirty Harry and Father Ted into the charismatic but genuine Sgt. Boyle. But performances from Cheadle as “family man” Everett and Fionulla Flanagan as Boyle’s mother, who despite being terminally ill, still has a hankering for Ammal Nitrate, are exceptional.
Sean Carroll is a Technician, Projectionist and Screen Lounge operative at Phoenix square. His interests, when not watching films include and are almost exclusively limited to the realms of improvisational music composition, software design and loud noises.