Thursday, 4 August 2011

Life imitates art

Optimum Releasing’s Anglo-Irish comedy-thriller THE GUARD, which opens in UK cinemas on August 19th, stars Brendan Gleeson as an unorthodox country policeman and Don Cheadle as a by-the-book FBI agent who team up, unassisted, to investigate the smuggling of half-a-billion dollars-worth of cocaine by boat into a remote area of the west of Ireland.

The story of the film, which has already proved itself a critical and audience success in the US and in Ireland, where it is breaking box-office records, closely parallels the methods of the smugglers who are currently under investigation by SOCA and the UK Border Agency, despite having been written more than two years ago. The quantity of cocaine is almost identical, as is its mode of transport – a luxury motor cruiser – the “Annabel Lee” in THE GUARD and the “Louise” as its real life counterpart.
Garda Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Gleeson) is a small-town cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humour, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought FBI agent Wendell Everett (Cheadle) to his door. However, despite the fact that Boyle seems more interested in mocking and undermining Everett than in actively working to solve the case, he finds that circumstances keep pulling him back into the thick of it.

First his tiresomely enthusiastic new partner disappears, then his favourite hooker attempts to blackmail him into turning a blind eye, and finally the drug-traffickers themselves try to buy him off as they have every other member of the local police force. These events unwittingly offend Boyle's murky moral code. He realises that he needs to take matters into his own hands, and the only person he can trust is Everett. And so the scene is set for an explosive finale.
Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh and starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle as the ill-matched pair of lawmen, THE GUARD also stars Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham and Fionnula Flanagan.

A Reprisal Films and Element Pictures production in association with Prescience, Aegis Film Fund, UK Film Council, Crescendo Productions and Eos Pictures LLP, with the participation of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, THE GUARD is released by Optimum Releasing in the United Kingdom.

THE GUARD hits UK cinemas August 19, 2011

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