Customer Reviews

84
4.5 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I'm not so much of a Kevin Costner fan but the level of entertainment that this film had giving me was more than enough. 'The Guardian,' although littered with clichés, is a very moving. The premise is a veteran United States Coast Guard rescue diver named Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) is sent to oversee the training of prospective divers at an elite school known as "A" School. Randall, who is still recovering from losing his crew in a failed rescue mission, makes sure the trainees understand the intensity of the life they are ready to embark upon. His unconventional methods are criticized by fellow coast guard personnel, but his experience is ultimately respected. Randall focuses on one trainee in particular, named Jake Fischer (Kutcher). Fischer's cockiness does not create a great first impression on Randall, but throughout the film their relationship undergoes a great change.

What really impressed me in this film was its representation of the USCG. There are very few films that highlight the actions of these brave men and women, and if nothing else, 'The Guardian' is an awe-inspiring tribute to the most overlooked branch of the United States armed forces. At times watching the swimmers endure in-the-water torture is very uncomfortable but effective. There are plenty of adrenaline-charged scenes, most of which involve either Coast Guard rescue swimmer training or actual missions. This story gripped my heart. It gave me a better understanding of the Coast Guard in a way that I would never experience except by first hand.

I also found the characters just as appealing as the subject matter. Not only does Costner portray reluctant Coast Guard instructor Ben Randall with humor and sincerity, but his "average Joe, aw shucks" demeanor is reminiscent of Crash Davis in Bull Durham. Ashton Kutcher does a fine job as the full-of-himself Jake Fischer, a fast swimmer with a faster mouth, which often gets him into trouble. He was perfect as the 'son' model and didn't upstage or take anything away from the lead role with his performance, The cast is rounded out by veterans John Heard and Kurgan himself Clancy Brown as various Coast Guard personnel.

'The Guardian' is a powerful piece of cinematic history that will forever be remembered for its tribute to the heroism of the men and women of the USCG, as well as the dangers they must endure on a daily basis. Yes, it is very predictable and yes we have seen most of it before, but this film stands on its own in a climate of rehashed cheap entertainment that Hollywood has been rabidly feeding audiences. I can only hope that audiences receive 'The Guardian' as well as I have.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2007
I agree with a previous reviewer, there is a little of An Officer And A Gentleman about this movie. However, in my opinion it knocks the socks off it. The action scenes are brilliantly shot and totally convincing. One of the few movies that kept my husband in the room and watching for the entire duration. It was excellent to see The Coastguard highlighted like this as they are definately the forgotton service. One up for "The Puddle Jumpers". It is a moving story and I cried and cried at the end, but I think after you watch the alternative endings section in the supplementary material, you'll agree it was the right one and the only possible ending. It's such a good film I can't understand why more wasn't made of it when it was on the big screen? Watch it, you won't regret it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This movie is undeniably formulaic and routine - and yet it is such a proficiently created variation on the genre of `grizzled-veteran-turns-brash-rookie-into-professional' that you can't help liking it for what it is.

Costner is for once well cast as the seasoned coast guard swimmer who has to turn to training recruits after a nasty and well shot incident where he loses his crew. There, he meets Ashton Kuchter. Kuchter plays the young cocky upstart who learns valuable life and work lessons from the veteran. All routine stuff..? Absolutely, and yo can be forgiven at times for thinking you are watching a remake of Top Gun... but it has a sense of real conviction - and in picking coastguards for a subject we have all the clichés of military-like-training, without the negative connotations - only thoroughly decent heroes out to save lives. After a lengthy training period, the movie finishes with Kuchter's start working in Kodiak, Alaska with Costner's character. Kuchter has definitely developed some acting chops and fits well, with Costner being the glue that holds the movie together. It ends up being a tad too long, but all the ingredients are seasoned enough that it's worth the wait to get through to the end.

Extras include a few deleted scenes of interest, an alternative ending which was rightfully dropped, and two slight press kit add ons - one about the making of the movie and one about the coastguards. Just the right amount to cover the movie.

Emotions are successfully wrung by director, music composer and production designer, and Costner and Kuchter are on top form. Don't be as sceptical as I was - it's not as bad as some critics have maintained..
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2007
I went to the cinema not having high expectations of this film but boy was I wrong. Ashton Kutcher's dramatic performance is incredible. He has come a long way since Cheaper By The Dozen. The chemistry between Kuther and Kostner is great as well especially when Kostner is giving Kutcher a talking to about his personal file. I would recommend anyone to buy this film as it will pleasently surprise you.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this film- it was absolutely fantastic! The plot of the story was well written and it kept me interested from start to end. It was such a moving story and i cried so hard when it came to the last few scenes. I would reccomend this film to anyone, as it has bits of everything in it! If you have not already seen this film BUY IT!!! One of my favourite films of all time!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2009
I feel that this film is a real inspirational film, this is because it has a deep meaning to it. Senior Cheif Ben Randall sees the potential in Jake Fischer, so he pushes him to the limits to achieve his full potential. Although he seems tough on him there is a reason for that. The ending ties it all together, it shows the bond between the two has grown since they have been working together.

I strongly recommend buying or at least watching this film, it has some much tension, emotion and inspiriation in it. I rate this 5 star and one of the best films made in 2006.

Matt
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) is a rarity in the Coast Guard. Even though he's over 40, he's still in the field serving as a rescue swimmer. Whenever the sea near his base in Kodiak, Alaska gets rough, he's the one who jumps out of the helicopter and rescues those who have fallen overboard. And he's one of the best at what he does, with an impressive record or saves against overwhelming odds.

He's hit a rough patch, however. His wife (Sela Ward) has left him and his entire crew was killed in an accident while they were trying to rescue the survivor of a shipwreck. In a move to help him recover emotionally, he's temporarily reassigned to "A" School, where the Coast Guard trains rescue swimmers.

And that's why Ben is on hand when Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) enters the program. He's a high school swimming star who has turned down Ivy League scholarships to become a rescue swimmer. On the first day, he brags that he will beat all of Randall's old records.

Obviously, Jake has a problem with arrogance. Ben doesn't give him a break but spends all his time picking on his star student. Will Jake stand up to the pressure?

Given the previews and the plot of this movie, I'm sure it will surprise very few people when I describe it as formulaic. There were a couple surprises along the way, but for the most part, things unfolded exactly as I expected then to.

So, for a movie like this to succeed, it must rely on characters and actors. Here, the movie hits a home run. Both Ben and Jake are deeply flawed men who are struggling to maintain or regain their pride. Even Jake, who comes across as arrogant much of the time, has a truly compassionate side that surfaces as well. And Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher are excellent in their rolls. They balance the emotional and comedic scenes expertly. The movie focuses on these two characters, and the rest of them are underdeveloped as a result, but that's a minor complaint.

The movie is over two hours, but I was engrossed the entire time. The beginning and climax features some truly angry seas, and those special effects were awesome.

Even though the plot isn't the most original out there, the movie is still very entertaining and well worth seeing. I was moved and am very glad I saw it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2007
The action scenes in the Guardian are really good and so is the acting.
The storyline is mundane for the most part but that is because this film is about real life coastguard helicopter crews who helped make the film over a two year period.The thing I didn't like about the Guardian was the overemphasis on the training scenes which because officers spoke to trainees,as you will have seen so many army officers do in war movies,just seemed too familiar and plain.However,I would recommend the Guardian to you if you've got two hours to kill and want an insight into just how fit,strong,disciplined and brave these rescue people are.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
This is an "old style" adventure/action film about men serving in US Coast Guard - quite watchable, although not exactly a masterpiece. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) is the top rescue swimmer at the United States Coast Guard's Aviation Survival Technician (AST) program. A veteran married to his job, currently assigned mostly to training of new recruits, he is a kind of legend amongst his pairs. Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) is an arrogant, hot-shot candidate for AST, who was ranked as a top competitive swimmer in high school - and Randall takes an immediate dislike to him. Fischer got scholarships to every Ivy league college, but he opted to enlist in the Coast Guard instead - something which Randall, who can't stand him, finds suspicious. The match of Fisher's defiant arrogance vs. Randall's relentless cold hostility will make this whole training season a highly interesting and stressful thing, as feathers start to fly almost immediately... I will say no more about the story.

This is actually a quite good film, which reminded me a little of movies made in 40s and 50s about different armed services of US military. It is a quite masculine film, with women being relegated to second roles of hot girlfriend (Melissa Sagemiller) or (soon to be ex) wife (Sela Ward) - which makes sense as the world of elite swimmer rescuers is still a very male dominated place... The difficult relationship between a grizzled grouchy veteran and an overconfident, arrogant but not entirely devoided of talent young apprentice is a kind of cliché in the movies - but here it somehow works. I always kind of liked Ashton Kutcher ever since he impressed me in "Butterfly Effect" and he certainly doesn't disappoint in this one - I also always kind of DISLIKED Kevin Costner (and still mostly do), but I found him particularly good in this film.

Scenes of rescue at sea are quite good and the whole training program is very well shown indeed and in fact many of the supporting actors, including ASTC instructors, helicopter pilot, and support personnel were actual U.S. Coast Guard service members. Granted, the general tone of the film sounds a little bit like a commercial for US Coast Guard - but honestly, after seeing what those guys are doing to save people, I don't really see it as a problem.

The ending is honest - not very good, but better than many other Hollywood endings.

Bottom line, this is a very honest adventure/action movie, which I actually liked more than I expected as - let's state it once again - I am NOT a big fan of Kevin Costner. Still, four stars well deserved for that one. Enjoy!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2007
Great vehicle for Kevin Costner who performs admirably. Not a classic but perfectly acceptable entertainment well worth a watch. Eye-opener about US Coastguard - and you can learn where Kodiak is.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Dragonfly [DVD]
Dragonfly [DVD] by Kevin Costner (DVD - 2003)
£3.99

The New Daughter [DVD]
The New Daughter [DVD] by Kevin Costner (DVD - 2011)
£6.07

Men Of Honour [DVD] [2001]
Men Of Honour [DVD] [2001] by Cuba Gooding Jr. (DVD - 2002)
£3.20
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.