Movie Stats & Links
||Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher,
Sela Ward, Melissa Sagemiller
||Some scenes are a
little intense. Leave the kiddies at home.
||She'll probably be
crying her eyes out at times.
||It would have
helped the rating.
||Some fighting goes
||There's a chuckle
||I did like how
Emily knew exactly what Jake was up to in the bar.
||Ben to Jake:
||Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson
"The Guardian" had a whole lot of potential to be the
proverbial commercial for The Coast Guard, much in the same
way "Top Gun" is it for The Navy. From that opening sentence
you can probably realize that I didn't think it pulled it
off. Letís get to the storyÖ
A Movie Review
Kevin Costner is Ben Randall. As a Coast Guard swimmer
there doesnít seem to be anyone better. The problem for him
is that his personal life is in shambles and that he is over
forty, which is pretty old in the world of Coast Guard
swimmers, or so the movie says. When a rescue goes bad and
his crewmates go down, his commander gives him some options:
Head to the academy to train the next group of cadets, take
a desk job, or quit. Me, I would have quit so that I could
be perpetually consoled by his wife, Helen (the continuing
to be hot Sela Ward), but Ben options to teach Jake Fischer
(Ashton Kutcher) and his class how-to-be swimmers. Alright,
not really swimmers, they already knew how to swim, but I
guess they call the Coast Guard rescue folk's "swimmers."
In any case, Ben has his concerns about Jake, believing
Jake isnít trying to take up this profession to save lives,
but rather for the glory, and drives Jake to the brink. But,
of course, things wouldnít be that simple for this movie if
A: Jake didnít have a past that leads him to his training.
B: There was a love interest (in this case we get Melissa
Sagemiller playing Emily, a very similar role to Kelly
McGillisí role as Charlie from "Top Gun.") And C: The
way-over-the-top, trying-to-be-tear-jerking moments.
So we see Jake and Emily getting it on yet "ignoring"
they care for each other, we get Ben trying to come to terms
with losing his crewmates, finally Ben and Jake bond, and
all is right with the Coast Guard world, until, of course,
the bloated ending rescue.
For whatever reason Iím not going to ruin some of the key
scenes because they will probably make the girls cry while
watching "The Guardian," but Iíve got multiple reasons why
"The Guardian" doesnít come close to "Top Gun."
First is running time. The Navy was able to get their
stuff done in under two hours, while The Coast Guard took
almost 30 minutes more. Sure, a lot of times The Navy is
just about blowing shit up while The Coast Guard has to take
a little longer to actually save lives, but for a movie,
unless itís balls-out action, 30 minutes usually means
unnecessary plot development.
Second, and Iím sorry to say this because I found her
very cute, but Emily is no Charlie. Sure, they are both
teachers, but Charlie teaches fighter pilots while Emily
teaches first or second grade (And no, Iím not saying first
or second grade teachers have it easy, oh hell no. They
probably have it more difficult at times. But a hot, fighter
pilot teacher has one more issue, beating off the
students.). And Charlie just seemed more philosophical for
Maverick in his time of need, while Emily just fell for
another Coast Guard student who would be gone in 18 weeks.
Third, as much as trying to save people can put you on
the edge of your seat in the sea, it doesnít nearly put you
on the edge of your seat as a 4g inverted dive with a MIG
28, at a distance of about six feet, while trying to keep up
And fourth. No movie should ever again, in the history of
movies, use the phrase "Iíll never let go." That phrase is
forever meant for "Titanic," where even though Rose never
let go of her promise, she let go of Jack. And in "The
Guardian," "Iíll never let go" became a continuing theme,
and all I could keep remembering, every time it was uttered,
was Jackís body, swirling down to the bottom of the Atlantic
Ocean, because Rose couldnít figure out a way to get Jack on
that piece of wood with her.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of
Ashton Kutcher (except for maybe his greatest role as Jesse
"Dude Whereís My Car,") but thought he did a pretty good
job as Zack Mayo, I mean Jake, as the kid who really doesnít
have anywhere else to go and has something to prove. Kevin
Costner was also in a role that fit him well, and did a good
job at kicking the asses of the trainees. But there were too
many scenes in this movie that I didnít need. We know what
the movie is supposed to be about: A recruit who has the
potential to be the best, learning from the current best,
and the both of them learning from each other. Get me there,
get people rescued, but trim 20 minutes from this film of
unnecessary plot development and it would have been an extra
star, or maybe even more if Melissa Sagemiller would have
gotten almost naked, even with a body double which seems to
be her M.O.
In the end "The Guardian" tries too hard to bring out the
sappy, tries too hard to make sea rescues exciting, and
forgets to just concise things to a movie that I didnít have
to piss like a racehorse by the time Jake admits heís in
love with Emily. Itís 2 Ĺ stars out of 5. Catch a matinee,
but get the medium soda and not the large or youíll miss the
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!