Starring Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Sela Ward, Melissa Sagemiller, Clancy Brown, Neal McDonough, Dule Hill, John Heard
Written By: Ron L. Brinkerhoff
Directed By: Andrew Davis
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The Guardian, a drama action piece a la Top Gun, is about the men and women who enlist for the U.S. Coast Guard and what it takes to get in. Starring Kevin Costner as a middle aged hero of the Coast Guard and how he trains the new recruits. Before I even saw the movie I knew what was going to happen, thanks to my lovely fianc who caught the film in theaters. I still enjoyed the film and I think many will, because it has likeable characters, even Ashton Kutcher, and it’s the first film out there to pay homage to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Ben Randall (Costner) has broken many records in diving school and in the field but that is not what it’s all about. It’s about getting to the people that need the Coast Guard’s help the most and to save their lives. In the beginning of the film, we catch Randall and his crew en route to a scary mission and what would lead to a life endangering mission. When things go wrong, Randall is all but left after the helicopter crashes and kills the members of the crew. Randall loses his best friend and sends him off the deep end. His only alternative to quitting the Coast Guard is to go to the Louisiana diving school to be a trainer for the new recruits for 18 weeks. There he takes no guff from anyone, including cocky Jake Fischer (Kutcher) who thinks he’s the next big thing and is going to break all records out there. Randall takes care of all of their attitudes quickly by condensing what would be an 18 week training course into one session and firing half of the recruits. His fellow trainers think he is insane but given that Randall is somewhat of a rogue and his career speaks for itself. His fellow officers go along with it and the decision helps weed out the candidates.
While at training, Randall and Fischer butt heads quit often but they end up having more in common they than think. Both have pasts that they look to redeem themselves about and both have risen to the top of their class as the best swimmers. The majority of the film focuses on Randall and Fischer and their relationship. Randall sees a lot in Fischer and wants to try to correct Randall’s own wrongs in the past and help Fischer be better than he ever was. Of course with this kind of movie there is the romantic subplot and it involves Fischer and a local girl who swears she won’t get hooked on the next recruit rolling into town. Randall has his own problems. Shortly after the accident in the field, his wife decides to end it and leave Randall. So to have such a horrible accident in the forefront of his mind, his wife breaks up with him. Talk about having a bad day.
After training, Fischer graduates and is stationed at one of the scariest places for a Diver, Alaska. It just so happens that is where Randall is stationed and both are going to be working together. I think Randall pulled a few strings to keep an eye on him so Fischer doesn’t get into trouble. I guess you can say the baton is passed and Randall feels like his career is coming to an end.
As far as extras go, you get quite a bit of extra material but the typical stuff you can find on a good dvd, like deleted scenes, a making of, tribute to the real life coast guard, and an alternate ending.
I enjoyed the film a lot, and found the story interesting because I didn’t know what it took to become a diver for the Coast Guard. To imagine someone probably isn’t always located in Hawaii, this story helps show that’s usually friggin’ freezing water you are in and its not all fun and games. It’s actually extremely dangerous and could be life threatening every time you go out.
-Deleted Scenes with Optional Introduction by Director Andrew Davis and Writer Ron L. Brinkerhoff
-Never-Before-Seen Alternate Ending – With On-Camera Introduction By Director Andrew Davis
-Unsung Heroes – Tribute to the Real-Life Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers
-Making Waves – The Making of the Guardian
-Audio Commentary with Director Andrew Davis and Writer Ron L. Brinkerhoff
-ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
-SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
-FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color
Favorite Scenes: First day of school, bar fight, Fischer and Randall in the caves
Running Time: 139 minutes