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The Guard: movie review

Odd-couple chemistry fizzles in US-Irish cop movie.

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In this film publicity image released by Sony Pictures Classics, Brendan Gleeson, left, is shown in a scene from "The Guard."

Sony Pictures Classics/AP

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If you had to cast an actor to play a West Country Irish policeman, who better than Brendan Gleeson?

That’s the good news.

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What isn’t so good is the movie he stars in, “The Guard,” where he teams up with Don Cheadle, playing an FBI agent, as they attempt to block a huge shipment of cocaine off the Irish coast.

Director-screenwriter John Michael McDonagh tries to push the odd-couple chemistry, but it’s a no-go. He also tricks out the film with jokey references to spaghetti westerns and has the drug dealers improbably pepper their dialogue with references to Bertrand Russell and Nietzsche.

This black comedy needed to be a whole lot blacker and funnier.