In Bruges was a good, dark comedy that starred Brendan Gleeson. This film is In Bruges light (and also stars Gleeson).

It’s the story of an FBI agent (Don Cheadle) who comes to Ireland to investigate a drug ring that stopped in town.

Gleeson is the small-town cop who doesn’t mind cleaning up crime scenes so parents aren’t as upset (and popping a few of the pills that were in the pocket of the victim).

It quickly becomes a buddy picture, with Cheadle being the fish-out-of-water.

Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Kick-Ass, Green Lantern) always plays a great villain, with that powerful voice and the look of Andy Garcia on steroids.

This movie suffers by not being as clever as it thinks it is.

You’ll laugh a handful of times and certainly enjoy the low-key ride it takes you on.

It’s baffling as to why Gleeson says many of the things he does.

For example, he’s always saying racist things to Cheadle. This is an agent working on a big case, and we’re to believe Gleeson will say during a meeting “I thought only black fellas were drug dealers.” Or he’ll casually ask Cheadle if he grew up in the projects.

There is one funny exchange when Cheadle says he’s a Rhodes Scholar. He assumes Gleeson doesn’t know what that is. Gleeson tells him he does, by uttering the name “Kris Kristofferson.”

It’s funny, because Kristofferson actually was one, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Gleeson knows how truly smart you have to be to have been one (it’s a prestigious scholarship that gets you into Oxford).

I argued with a critic that claimed Gleeson isn’t racist, he’s just trying to get under Cheadle’s skin. I read an interview with the director that said seemed to confirm this.

The problem with that is – what purpose does Gleeson have for wanting to get under his skin?

We laughed at Archie Bunker saying racist things, because he was a dope that was usually proven wrong by the end of the episode (or scene). Gleeson is spewing racist views out, and they aren’t funny. We can’t argue that it’s making Cheadle a better agent, or that it really serves any purpose at all. He merely claims he’s Irish, and that racism is in his genes.

The film has a few of the usual clichés – gangsters that philosophize, a character that claims to have been in the Olympics, and the premise that there’s a big shipment of drugs. That’s all fine if they would’ve made this comedy a bit funnier. Glib one-liners have to be good 75% of the time to work. They were batting .500 with this script.

It gets 2 ½ stars out of 5.