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Now, as one of the lucky people that have one of those cool Coast Guard jobs, (a fact that does create some bias) I was suprised by just how close to reality the action stayed. There were plenty of "hollywood" moments, but many of them were necessary. I wont bother to explain them all, but the operations center of most air stations is a desk with a couple of phones. There are video monitors in some of them, but they play movies and football games...no live video feeds from the scene...sorry.
The rescue scenes are very realistic, and the school scenes are not too out-of-line with the actual training. (warning: punch an instructor in the face during an in water test and he will NOT hug you later. Get thrown in jail for being drunk and disorderly and you WILL get kicked out) The story didn't show the sometimes months of boredom between rescues or the excitement of a six hour flare sighting search called in by a drunk on the fourth of july from a hotel room...but who would pay to see that?
All in all, I think many of us in the service are proud of the film and liked it very much.
The extras on the DVD are worth the price alone. Again, I'm biased.
The Guardian is a film worth owning.
He's hit a rough patch, however. His wife (Sela Ward) has left him and his entire crew was killed in an accident while they were trying to rescue the survivor of a shipwreck. In a move to help him recover emotionally, he's temporarily reassigned to "A" School, where the Coast Guard trains rescue swimmers.
And that's why Ben is on hand when Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) enters the program. He's a high school swimming star who has turned down Ivy League scholarships to become a rescue swimmer. On the first day, he brags that he will beat all of Randall's old records.
Obviously, Jake has a problem with arrogance. Ben doesn't give him a break but spends all his time picking on his star student. Will Jake stand up to the pressure?
Given the previews and the plot of this movie, I'm sure it will surprise very few people when I describe it as formulaic. There were a couple surprises along the way, but for the most part, things unfolded exactly as I expected then to.
So, for a movie like this to succeed, it must rely on characters and actors. Here, the movie hits a home run. Both Ben and Jake are deeply flawed men who are struggling to maintain or regain their pride. Even Jake, who comes across as arrogant much of the time, has a truly compassionate side that surfaces as well. And Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher are excellent in their rolls.Read more ›
It's also the story of an instructor (Kevin Costner) that was the best Rescue Swimmer in the business, but reluctantly accepted a teaching job at the Coast Guard Academy.
The movie is way more training than I'd have preferred. But there's a good story. There's suspense. And importantly it's fairly believable. The Guardian kind of falls apart towards the end with a sadly predictable ending.
One thing that The Guardian does for sure is show you that the Coast Guard is highly underrated. A memorable quote from the movie that puts it in perspective: "When hurricanes ground the United States Navy, we go out." Make no mistake that when I suggested earlier that this film is lighter than Kubrick's I did not mean to suggest that Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers are any less brave or tough as Marines. You may also walk away from The Guardian with the same notion.
My issue with the film is that there wasn't a lot of 'going out' unless you apply the little phrase to Jake (Ashton Kutcher) and Emily's (Melissa Sagemiller) dating. There was a little too much love story. Not enough buddy-film. And mostly training camp. I think a more action-oriented movie might have generated another star.
But overall The Guardian was an enjoyable movie.
SpongeBob Squarepants' Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown) even makes an appearance in this tale of The Sea. And a funny bit of trivia is that Clancy is most known for (no, not the voice of Mr. Krabs) his role as Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, and Captain Hadley is indeed his name again in The Guardian.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a work out these men in the United States Coast Guard do to make it through helping people. Lots of action and fun to watch.Published 14 days ago by Ladyice
Serviceable actioner starting the nearly always reliable Kevin Costner. Actually, the putative star of The Guardian is Aston Kutcher. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Eric Warren