Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Guardian - Movie Review

I was so ready to dump on this movie. I mean, every movie I've reviewed on this blog was generally positive, so I wanted to show that I actually do dislike movies I see sometimes. hmm... maybe I do just like everything I see? Since I was generally surprised that The Guardian not only didn't offend me, I was sort of taken with it by the end of the film.

The film that basically honours the US Coast Guard with no sense of irony and plainly follows a gee-goly attitude was in no way going to be an excellent film. It stars Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner for goodness sake. The trailers were tedious in its faux-danger CGI'd action on the seas, the posters make it seem like a stupid Tony Scott film, the lines are clichéd and simplistic sprouting high school level psycho-babble, and worst of all, it even ends on a new Bryan Adams song over the credits.

Yet, by the time we get through Kevin Costner's curmudgeonly teaching a new batch of students, including the self assured Ashton Kutcher, a barely used (again) Dulé Hill (The West Wing), and some other non-descript though likable Abercrombie looking models, by the time we see them endure harsh training, get in trouble, learn their lessons, graduate and move on to the real world of saving people's lives, I sort of gave over to the movie and just went along with the emotions. I'm not saying this was a great movie or even a good heart-warmer yet I found myself swept up in some of the tense action sequences and by the time it came to the tearful clichéd ending, I sort of felt the movie had worked hard enough to warrant it.

Though not as smile-enducing as the two other Disney movies to come out earlier this year (Invicible and Step Up), it sure wasn't the Razzie I expected/hope for (to trash). I mean, it stars Mr. Demi Moore, but Ashton Kutcher was extremely charming (and not in the Kelso way). I've never really had any thoughts about Ashton, never hated him, never loved the Punked guy, but again, maybe my lowered expectations was taken for a loop by his dramatic acting ability. Kevin Costner meanwhile continues to charm his way through this new resurgence playing the schlupy has-been and uses his natural swagger to perfection as he did so well in The Upside of Anger and Rumour Has It.

Director Andrew Davis, who has never really lived up to his amazing remake of The Fugitive, makes a nice steady clean and basic film about regular heroes in The Guardian. Nothing spectacular or special, there's nothing in the plot you won't guess will happen but when you're in the mood for a Discovery Channel retelling with movie stars, this will make a good pic to fill the needs. Of course, the wet t-shirts probably helped.

6/10 or C+

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