What is it with me and having hope in movies that are so obviously going to be bad? The Guardian is yet another movie that goes on top of the pile of movies I wished I had hated before I saw them. At least then there would be a chance of me liking it more than I had expected. Instead, it goes on top of the pile with Stealth and this year’s Poseidon. Man these movies suck yet the previews would lead you to believe there could be some excitement.
The easiest way to describe The Guardian is to call it Top Gun with the Coast Guard instead of the Navy, Ashton Kutcher instead of Tom Cruise, Kevin Costner instead of Tom Skeritt, boredom instead of action and no Iceman or Jester. Damn, I wish someone had told me that before I went to go see it.
This film runs nearly 2 hours and 20 minutes and how they managed that much time out of a movie that might have been watchable at 90 minutes is beyond me.
The story starts off as rescue swimmer Ben Randall (Costner) is the lone survivor of a horrible mishap during a rescue mission. It is not the only thing wrong with Ben’s life as his wife (Sela Ward) just left him because he loves his job too much. Damn, when will movie wives learn that jobs pay the bills?
Anyway, in an effort to get his head straight he is sent off to teach a little bit at “A” School, a Coast Guard training program. In comes Jake Fischer (Kutcher); he’s got tats and a rough and rugged attitude. Man this guy is a swimmer and he swims fast! Watch out records! So begins our little rivalry between Ben and Jake until they realize they aren’t that different.
I really could go on, but it just never lets up with the endless cliches and moments only suitable for a fork to the eye. Needless to say, school ends, real life begins and trouble ensues, but you already knew that from the trailer that gave everything away.
Now, while I really disliked this movie I will say that Kutcher was not all that bad in his role as Jake Fischer. Yeah, he has the stereotypes of this kind of character pretty much nailed, but that is what he was supposed to do, he didn’t write the script. The best compliment I can give him is that he didn’t seem at all like “that kid from ‘That ’70s Show'” or “that idiot from MTV’s ‘Punk’d'”. Yes, these are compliments. If he had brought those personas to the table this film would have really drowned.
As it is, I do think some audience members are going to like this movie, but once I heard the quote, “He’s a fisher of men,” I was looking for another fork for my other eye. Check out The Guardian with caution, these waters are rough.