Darkly comic but could have been a little shorter, tighter and with funnier dialogue and would have been better for it
A year after he made this film Brendan Gleeson returned to a role in the Garda but in a film that was a bit more balanced in terms of his character. Here he plays a wholly inept member of the Irish police force and, a small country force at that. After letting his new partner wail about his ruined love life (an issues resolved with a Magnum), Col and rookie Frank respond to reports of a loud bang. In the house in question they find a man lying dead, a gun in one hand and a note in the other. All seems straightforward, but rather than call it in right away, Col insists that he and Frank take this opportunity to hone their detecting skills.
Because the short is essentially based around the rather disconnected and inept character of Col, you do need to accept that you will not necessarily get the most satisfying plot and resolution here but in the simple scene the approach mostly works. As the situation starts to get out of control, it is funny to see the matter-of-fact handling of it and the excess of the events. On this level I think it worked very well and Gleeson senior delivered a solidly clueless character not his best performance by any means, but then it is not his best character either. Gleeson junior is a decent foil even if his opening scene goes on too long and he is not quite up to the straight-man role being asked of him for parts of this. Behind the camera the other Gleeson junior directs with good timing and makes the most of the shock/jump laughs that come during the film.
I wish it had been funnier and tighter to justify the scene and the use of Gleeson senior. The plot is fine as it is an enclosed scenario, but the dialogue needed just to be a little sharper and funnier while the delivery could have been tighter because even though it is only 17 minutes, it did seem a little longer than it needed to be.
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