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Rural Irish film brings humor to DPAC

Kevin Noonan | Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The Keough-Naughton Institute Irish Film Series will bring the critically acclaimed film “The Guard” to the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center this Friday.

The film, set in rural Ireland, stars Brendan Gleeson (whom Harry Potter fans might recognize as Professor Moody) and Don Cheadle as a local police officer and an FBI agent forced to team up to investigate a drug trafficking ring.

Gleeson and Cheadle’s characters could not be more different. Cheadle plays a straight-laced, up-tight modern officer of the law. Gleeson, on the other hand, portrays a freewheeling and unintentionally racist cop from backwoods Ireland who is at least as comfortable at a bar or with call girls as he is investigating crime, if not more so.

The concept of an odd-couple buddy cop movie is hardly original on the surface, but Gleeson delivers the imperfections of his character’s character to such perfection, that the movie rises above any comparisons to a run of the mill action thriller.

The first interaction between Gleeson’s Sergeant Gerry Boyle and Cheadle’s agent Wendall Everett consists of Boyle expressing his shock at learning that not all drug dealers are black.

Sergeant Boyle goes on to learn that Everett is from Milwaukee, which naturally leads him to ask if the agent grew up in the projects. He is again shocked to learn that not all black kids grow up in extreme poverty. This exchange leads to one of the greatest lines in the movie, as well as a perfect description of the way Gleeson plays his character.

Everett proclaims, “I can’t tell if you’re really [freaking] dumb, or really [freaking] smart.” Boyle sits in silence, responding with a goofy smile, not giving anything away.

The film is entertaining and humorous throughout, and can be seen at DPAC this Friday at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $3 for students and can be found on the center’s website.