Brendan Gleeson is one of the most commanding actors of our time, exuding pure confidence and cool in whichever project he is in.
Whether it is “Gangs of New York,” “In Bruges” or “Harry Potter,” Gleeson’s performances are unquestionably attention-grabbing and entertaining.
His most recent film, “The Guard,” mainly follows this pattern as well.
He stars as Sgt. Gerry Boyle, a small town Irish law enforcer whose rough attitude and unconventional tactics surprise Everett, (Don Cheadle) the new FBI agent who comes to town.
Agent Everett and Sgt. Boyle must work together to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring.
Although they are both great actors in their own right, the pairing of Gleeson and Cheadle feels awkward and forced, like Gleeson’s bully was forced to let Cheadle’s new guy tag along with him.
Gleeson’s character is hilariously confrontational and in your face, everything that Cheadle’s character is not. Agent Everett’s reserved personality and by-the-book work methods do not mesh well during scenes with Boyle.
This prevents much chemistry from forming between the two characters until the very end of the movie when the majority of the action picks up.
Another difficulty for the movie is that it’s simply hard to understand what the characters are saying.
Be sure to bring a translator with you, because most of the characters have extremely thick Irish accents.
Regarding the action in the film, “The Guard” is painfully slow to get off the starting blocks for a movie that has cops as its main characters.
And if you disregard the final scene, there are essentially no action sequences to be found at all.
But thanks to the performance of its lead role, “The Guard” is able to maintain interest by revealing how this man’s seemingly straightforward story unravels into something much more expansive.
Gleeson fans or those who really admire Irish accents will find something to like with this film.
Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.