SPidge Tales

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Guardian: My movie review

In An Officer and a Gentleman, Richard Gere went flight school and clashed with drill sergeant Louis Gossett, Jr. He fell in love with the local girl Debra Winger, who he met at local military bar, lost his best friend, proved his manhood and gained mutual respect with Gossett in a boxing match, and ended the story happily ever after, graduating from the Academy, sweeping the girl off her feet, and letting love lift him up where he belongs. Tom Cruise did the whole pilot thing again in Top Gun, meeting the pretty girl at the bar who takes his breath away, clashing with almost everyone in the Academy, losing his best friend (poor Goose), and took Richard Gere one better in showing off his manhood by actually flying in a real fighter mission. This past year, it was pretty-boy Ashton Kutcher’s turn to be the tough military recruit who clashes with his instructor in The Guardian.

The first two thirds of The Guardian are pleasantly enjoyable. Kevin Costner is the aging star Coast Guard rescue diver. When (cue drama police) a rescue mission fails, and his whole team dies, Costner goes into an anguish that gets worsened by his wife’s decision to leave him and the Coast Guard commander’s decision to reassign him to train the new recruits.

The top recruit is star swimmer Ashton Kutcher, who plans on breaking all of Costner’s records. Why is an All-American swimmer with scholarship offers to Ivy League schools trying out for the Coast Guard rescue team? You’ll find out halfway through in one of those emotional scenes. Why, Ashton wonders, is a great diver like Costner assigned to the menial task of training new recruits? Don’t worry, Ashton will find out in one of those male bonding moments.

Ashton meets a girl at (yup) the local Coast Guard dive bar. A crisis comes in the boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, Ashton clashes with Costner but eventually bonds, Costner goes back to regular rescue diving, and Ashton graduates. He and the girl agree they had a fling not meant to be. So far we have a decent movie, and this would be a nice, realistic ending.

Did the movie end or did it get the Hollywood treatment? What do you think?

I’ll offer hints at the rest of the film through a series of questions. Did Ashton get assigned to Costner’s diving team? Do they go on a rescue mission together? Does Costner see that Ashton is a great rescue diver, and grudgingly admire him? Does Costner realize that he doesn’t quite have it any more and decide to retire?

Don’t stop yet. It gets better. Does Ashton get sent on a very dangerous mission that requires more divers to come in and rescue him? Does Costner, though retired, randomly happen to be in Coast Guard headquarters to hear about the crisis? Does the Coast Guard commander, realizing he needs one more diver to join the rescue team, ask Costner to come along? Does Costner say yes? If he said yes, do he and Ashton end up as the last two people being pulled up by the metal extension chord on the helicopter? Is their combined weight too great to keep it from breaking? Does Costner let go and fall to the sea, allowing Ashton to live? Does Ashton show up at the girl’s classroom (she’s a teacher), tell her he wants more than a fling, and kiss her before the credits and the uplifting song come on?

We’ve all seen this movie before. It goes by many different names, whether we call it An Officer and a Gentleman, Top Gun, Annapolis, or The Guardian. It’s more enjoyable to watch with your buddies, so you can laugh at the final scenes, than with a girl, who will probably call you insensitive while she is bawling her eyes out.


Blogger Tim Simard said...

You naled that review perfectly. I haven't seen the film and I knew exactly what was going to happen at any given moment. It sounds like this film was up in the realm of predictability that Titanic and Pearl Harbor aspired to. Granted, both films focused on actually historic events, but it was knowing what would happen to each and every character that made it terrible. Both of those films had scenes that made me laugh out loud in the theater, which some emotionally involved women let me know what insensitive. Give me a break, it's funny! The same thing with the Guardian. Thanks for seeing it Pidge and letting me know what I already knew.

2:33 PM  

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