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The Guard focuses on a maverick Irish cop based in  picturesque County Galway, where Gaelic is the language of preference. With a nod to more permissive times, a well known Anglo Saxon word  serves prolifically throughout the English dialogue. In fact the length of the script would be halved if the F-bomb were extracted. Brendan Gleeson fills out the primary character well, however, as does Don Cheadle, who plays the straight and proper FBI agent investigating the international drug racket that has come to touch the romantic shores of  Éire. Without the blarney and subtle quirks, it would be just another cop partner mismatch comedy. Both Gleeson and Cheadle succeed in putting a lot of work into their characters, however, and the dark comedy that results becomes the success of the film rather than the thin plot. One actually becomes quite attached to Gleeson’s character. The cop is certainly no saint, but he is the kind of sinner who carries a wisdom that knows which battles to choose.

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