MIFF Review: Bunce + The Guard

28 Jul

Drinkin' Milkshakes, takin' names.

I struggle to think of a way to describe The Guard that doesn’t make it sound like a Gaelic Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and that isn’t right.

A small town Irish cop Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) who may be very very smart or very very stupid foils a drug smuggling operation. Plus Don Cheadle is there. There’s your basic plot. The beauty here is in the details, but frankly I would spoil it for you if I divulged a single one.

Instead, be satisfied that this is a character film, all about Gerry, and he is a lovable rogue of the old school. He’s a secretly competent oaf and endearingly brusque, also gross, surprising, and rather naughty. He has the upper-hand of the underestimated, and when bigger fish come to his pond, he holds his own. This film is a really funny, brilliantly-timed galloping romp and unless you are ethically opposed to fun you will have it if you see it.

It screens along with the Stephen Fry short Bunce, which is a sweet little picture of Fry’s school days. His addiction to sweets (I know how he feels) is his downfall. It’s cute to see a perspicacious baby-Stephen, and cuter still to see Fry play his erstwhile headmaster. I wonder if he felt a degree of closure getting to pretend to cane his younger self? I hope so.

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