Registering a rare dissatisfaction with usual high standard of Independent’s cinema reviews, we recommend that the critic giving a favorable recommendation to the Irish “comedy” film The Guard should be sentenced for malpractice to watch the truly clever Irish comedy “Waking Ned Devine” ten times before authoring another review. My wife and I have walked out on less than five films in our 30 years of movie going, and The Guard was one. After enduring 20 minutes of a film featuring ignorant prejudice and gratuitous obscenities — with every other adjective from the Irish anti-hero being the “F” word — we could not envision how the remainder might morph into a clever comedy about “mutant identity.” Incongruous, deceptive, or unmotivated identity transformation does not count.

The Guard reminded us too much of a 2009 film — the Blair government “spin control” satire titled In the Loop — which also tried our patience to point of pre-emptive exit. These films were both produced by our linguistic brethren from whom we were formerly “divided by a common language.” It seems European English language films are now imitating the worst attributes of Hollywood cinema such as jamming the audio with obscenities and littering the visual stage with crude, self-serving, and generally repulsive characters. We’re guessing than many others would also appreciate an honest critical review of this genre of film-making so we could make more informed votes with our entertainment budget.


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