I can reassure myself not to be bummed that I missed The Guard at Sundance, because it actually wasn’t that great.
Sgt. Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is an Irish cop who takes acid on the job, alludes to crack experiences, and whores around with escorts. He plays around on crime scenes and mouths off when respectable officers try to lead. FBI Agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) comes to Ireland to bust some drug traffickers, and he gets stuck with Boyle.
Basically, it’s Rush Hour with an obnoxious WHITE cop, and a reasonable competent black agent has to deal with him. Gleeson and Cheadle are both likeable enough actors, but I didn’t find many of their shenanigans amusing.
To be fair, I missed a lot with the dialect. At one point I thought Boyle accused someone of interfering with a llama, but there were no llamas in the case. Maybe on DVD with subtitles I’ll realize The Guard is a comic masterpiece.
Probably not though, because what I did understand wasn’t that funny. I know, I should find fondling the privates of a murder victim hilarious, but I’m just too highbrow. Boyle’s “innocent” racism is not ironically misguided. It’s just obvious. A foreign suspect tells her partner “there’s a black man at the door” in a subtitled twist on every Will Smith action movie joke. I suppose Boyle’s refusal to see Everett’s baby picture came out before “The Office” did it, but it’s still less funny in The Guard.
I don’t care about or fear the criminals they’re after. Towards the end there’s a nice standoff scene with banter between the hero and villain, and a fun cowboy climax complete with cowboy music. It’s still a mess.