After Waterworld, you'd think Kevin Costner would avoid the wet stuff like the plague. But he spends even more time in the drink for his latest release, The Guardian.
With only slightly better results.
Costner stars as Ben Randall, the Coast Guards most decorated and bravest rescue swimmer. Randall's also the most narrowly-focused of his team members, a guy who too often sacrifices his own safety in order to rescue people from the deep. That single-mindedness puts his team in danger during one rescue attempt, with devastating results that leave Randall--and his superiors--a little unsure about his abilities. He's getting a bit long in the tooth; maybe he's lost a step, even though he still has the swagger.
The Coast Guard re-assigns Randall to a training facility, where his job becomes training new recruits to be rescue swimmers. A star recruit--Jake Fischer, played by Ashton Kutcher--emerges after several weeks. He's a talented swimmer with a selfish bent and a narrow perspective about life.
Randall soon wishes he knew how to quit Fischer!
At the end of the flick, Fischer's rough edges are polished and Randall's heroic personality is confirmed in a dramatic rescue scene. Mrs. Film Geek cried, which caused me to awaken from my Costner-induced nap. It's a good thing The Guardian is so formulaic, as I otherwise might have missed something important!
The Guardian is Top Gun meets An Officer and a Gentleman, without the jet-fighter speed or the romance of Gere and Winger. It may be a solid story, but at well over 2 hours it is way too long.
And it feels that way.