THE STORY: After losing his crew in a fatal crash, legendary Rescue Swimmer, Ben Randall (KEVIN COSTNER), is sent to teach at “A” School, an elite training program for Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers. Wrestling with the loss of his crew members, he throws himself into teaching, turning the program upside down with his unorthodox training methods.
While there, he encounters a young, cocky swim champ, Jake Fischer (ASHTON KUTCHER), who is driven to be the best. During training, Randall helps mold Jake’s character, combining his raw talent with the heart and dedication required of a Rescue Swimmer.
Upon graduation, Jake follows Randall to Kodiak, Alaska, where they face the inherent dangers of the Bering Sea. In his initial solo rescue, Jake learns firsthand from Randall, the true meaning of heroism and sacrifice, echoing the Swimmer’s motto…”So Others May Live!”
THE REVIEW: Kevin Costner has signed on to the old tried and true Hollywood cliché where the old guy does something great [insert career here] only to watch his heroics go awry. And then it’s up to him to train a young version of himself in hopes that he doesn’t make the same mistake only to get the chance to makeup for his mistake. Of course the old man still has a few lessons up his sleeve. If you heard me yawn it’s because I’ve seen this movie a few dozen times before—some were good and some were very bad.
The surprising part of The Guardian is that a majority of the film is interesting and engulfs your attention. There are no surprises and even though you feel like you can see every scene before it arrives—it’s still entertaining. The Guardian is wrapped up in the arrogance of youth and the know-it-all attitude.
The Guardian isn’t entertaining from beginning to end. The problem is that Costner’s character gets caught into another Hollywood cliché as his wife leaves and he can’t accept it. It’s so silly that it’s painful.
FRANKLY: The ending of The Guardian reminds me of the typical see-I-told-you-so ending with an ocean rescue climaxing into the land of the obvious.
+ Charlie Craine