The good news is that people are talking about the Coast Guard and the new movie The Guardian. The even better news is that all the talk isn't bad...
From Mark Burger:
The Guardian is a true-blue, stand-tall tribute to the heroism of the U.S. Coast Guard's crack rescue swimmers. It is a noble film and a proud film. But it is not a good film.Ouch.
From Tim Povtak down in Orlando:
They are the few, the daring, and the about-to-be glamorized.From Laura Emerick in the Chicago Sun Times:
Although real-life operations rarely are as dramatic as the movie ones involving Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher in The Guardian, the Search and Rescue Swimmers of the United States Coast Guard might become the most close-to-home heroes that we have.
Jumping out of a helicopter takes courage itself, but jumping out, and into an uncertain, stormy ocean to save someone takes considerably more. This is adventure with high risk and reward, life and death consequences.
Directed by Chicago native Andrew Davis, "The Guardian," which opens Friday, seems like an unlikely vehicle for Costner, who admits that "the water aspect initially turned me off." Alluding to the "Waterworld" debacle, he added, "I've spent too much time in the water already."I find Andrew Davis' quote about "no bad guys" and Mother Nature being the scary thing interesting. This is, I guess, a movie about self and doing the right thing. It's not good vs. evil or America vs. Islamic extremism or anything man-made; this is man vs. self and man vs. the elements.
But the film's message of self-sacrifice and heroism -- themes that have resonated with Costner from "The Untouchables" (1987) to "Open Range" (2003) -- eventually lured him back to the sea.
"I liked its mythic quality, even though it was clearly a formula movie," said Costner, 51, who joined Davis recently on a promotional visit here (which included a stop at the U.S. Coast Guard station at Calumet Harbor). "It was an incomplete script, but I liked the beginning and I liked the end. You're going to see the experienced guy and you're going to see the young guy full of juice and you're going to see that he's untamable. You're going to see there's some turning point and that's the formula of these movies. The obligation that lies inside a movie like this is to try blow some air into it, to make it seem original."
The challenge of reinventing a standard adventure scenario also attracted Davis. " 'The Guardian' takes you to somewhere where you've never been before," he said. "The big challenge was making the ocean look real and believable. We don't have any bad guys in the movie. The scary thing here is Mother Nature. So opening the movie the way we do, in the daylight and establishing the scale and ferocity of the rescue mission, was key. We worked for almost a year in developing how we were going to deal with the water because it's one of the hardest things to do, in terms of visual effects. It's hard to shoot on, hard to shoot in, it's hard to make look real when it's not."
The flick opens tomorrow. Reviews here; showtimes here.