Guardian, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher. Action drama. Written by Ron L. Brinkerhoff. Directed by Andrew Davis.

After losing his crew in a fatal crash, legendary Rescue Swimmer Ben Randall (Kevin Costner), is sent to teach an elite training program for Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers. Wrestling with the loss of his crew members, he throws himself into teaching, turning the program upside down with his unorthodox training methods. While there, he encounters a young, cocky swim champ, Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher), who is driven to be the best. During training, Randall helps mold Jakes character, combining his raw talent with the heart and dedication required of a Rescue Swimmer. Upon graduation, Jake follows Randall to Kodiak, Alaska, where they face the inherent dangers of the Bering Sea. In his initial solo rescue, Jake learns firsthand from Randall the true meaning of heroism and sacrifice, echoing the Swimmers mottoSo Others May Live!

Its pretty corny at times, with some maudlin scenes playing like a redo of An Officer and a Gentleman (I expected Mr. Kutcher to yell out, Cause I got no where else to go!). Still, the film is engrossing, mainly because we realize there are men and women in the Coast Guard who really put their lives on the line for others. Its overly long, because once again Mr. Costner picks a screenplay with four or five endings (I kept rising after the first 100 minutes, thinking it was over, only to have another scene suddenly come up from a fade-out). But, as I say, the action is lively, the performances are sincere, if not all that charismatic, and the story features an interesting subject matter. Alas, there is some profane language from the leads and implied casual sex thrown in, giving us two silly lovelorn subplots.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of bawdy sexual conversations.

Obscene Language: 1 f-word, 2 s-words, 6 minor expletives (damns, hells, ass)

Profanity: 1 GD and 3 misuses of Christs name.

Violence: There are a couple of barroom brawls and several scenes depicting perilous situations, where some lives are lost at sea. We see dead bodies floating. Blood: Faces get banged up in a fight, some blood.

Sex: The young lead has casual sex. They later fall in love, but it is never clear if they marry. The sexual situations are implied, with the couple seen in bed afterwards.

Nudity: None.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A couple of bawdy sexual conversations.

Drugs: Lots of drinking throughout.

Other: None.

Running Time: 135 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens, adults, especially people with well-padded backsides.

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