The Guard (2011) MIFF Film Review


When I think of ‘buddy cop’ films, I think of Hollywood blockbusters such as Rush Hour with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, or Showtime with Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy. Or, of course, Lethal Weapon. Films that, like romantic comedies, are a bit of a guilty secret for me. I love a blockbuster, but I often don’t tell people that.

So, when a film like The Guard comes along and is tagged as a buddy cop film, I cringe a little. Buddy cops don’t have a quirky sense of humour, or a cop who doesn’t play by the rules. Oh, hang on. They often do. I was about to argue that the tag of buddy cop was misplaced, but I am quickly reversing my opinion. What makes this different to most films of this style is the Irish sense of humour.

Boyle is a middle-aged cop in a sleepy town outside of Galway in Ireland. He doesn’t act like a cop – he deals with a crime scene in his own unique way and isn’t afraid to shy away from drugs or prostitutes. Along comes FBI Agent Everett to town to try to intercept a boat carrying half a billion dollars (street value) of cocaine from arriving in Ireland, and we have our buddy cop element.

I absolutely loved this film. Apart from the fact that this is almost the only film that has not left me depressed about life and the world, which really would have been enough for me to like the film, not to love it. I loved it for its humour, for it’s characters and for it’s ridiculousness. (Especially note: the scene with the bad guys in the aquarium. Why the hell were they there, and what was going on with the editing? But so, so funny – I’m glad they kept it in!)

In fact, there was only one thing which spoilt this film for me, and that was the unpleasant man sitting in front of me with rancid body odour.  Thanks, filthy man. Not only has your stink pervaded my nose and my clothes, but I cannot get the word ‘rancid’ out of my head. How filthy. How dare you spoil this film for me and I will be doubly annoyed if you now spoil the next two films I am seeing for me today.

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