Sunday, June 03, 2007

THE GUARDIAN - wishing for Tom Cruise

Director Andrew Davis makes heavy work of this derivative, ponderous action movie. Kevin Costner stars as a legendary coastguard with marital problems. Obliged to take up a post as a trainer, he meets a cocky young student played by Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher is seriously out of his depth in a serious dramatic role, and shocked as I am to admit this, I found myself longing for the Tom Cruise of TOP GUN, or better still the Richard Gere of AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN. Actually, I was longing for the emotional depth and brutality of a OFFICER all the way through this formulaic clap-trap. Yes yes, we've seen it all before. Kutcher will change from a narcissistic idiot to a mature, battle-scarred coast-guard. The hard-as-nails local girl will fall for him. And Costner's character will learn to respect Kutcher's character. Ron L Brinkerhoff's script offers nothing new. So, while I admired the technical effects and the ballsiness of the denoument, frankly, after two hours of weak bilge my emotional investment was nil.

THE GUARDIAN went on cinematic release in autumn 2006 and is available on DVD.

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