Starring: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Derek Adams, Shelby Fenner, Omari Hardwick, John Heard, Domon Lipari, Neal McDonough, Scott Mueller, Sela Ward,
Directed by Andrew Davis
Produced by Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson
Written by Ron L. Brinkerhoff
Visual Effects Studios Involved: Flash Film Works, Pixel Magic, Furious FX, Digital Dream
Visit the movie's Official Site!
I missed this movie to the theatres, lately caught it up on DVD. Thought I’d write a review
The Guardian is a complex character study of two rescue swimmers serving in the Coast Guard's search and rescue branch. Focusing the Movie on people rather than their job is a smart move, because frankly search and rescue oriented action movies almost never work. Saving people just isn't as glamorous as we like to make it sound. Real heroes are nothing like Rambo or John McClane, they're quiet guys who simply go to work and get their job done.
The Movie's start, at sea, of course in the digital rendition was a very good prelude to what was in store. I liked the lighting used at the sea. Not very Titanic/ Poseidon like, very natural. A stark documentarish feeling. The pace of the scene also hinted on the pace of the movie. This would have filtered the audience well enough and prepared the movie for an audience who'd like a movie of this pace.
Kevin Costner in the role of Ben Randall is one of those quiet guys, and he gets the job done better than almost anyone. He's the Coast Guard's mostly heavily decorated rescue swimmer, with records galore. Ashton Kutcher, keeping his smirk to a bare minimum, plays Jake Fischer, a brash young Coast Guard recruit who's been selected to join the elite squad of rescue swimmers. Aston's intro reminds everyone of Tom Cruise in Top Gun.Staying with Top Gun, I felt this movie was heavily inspired from Top Gun. In strong doses actually.
Director Andy Davis, "The Fugitive," is clearly adept at staging and capturing the gripping adventures of men with something to prove. Kutcher, who I read, admits having to brush up his swimming skills for the role of Fischer, has toned down his natural goofiness, emerging as a reasonably believable leading man.
On the VFX Front, The Guardian had some beautifully rendered 'at-the-sea' shots. Like Mentioned before, I liked the lighting the director went for in the Movie. Not so cheesy, very natural. The water rendering was neat.
The end was a bit predictable, but in my honest opinion, I thought Kutcher did a very decent job of making the audience believe of his leadership qualities there. Screenwriter Ron L. Brinkerhoff too deserves some credit for crafting a script that actually makes something interesting out of a pretty boring subject. As a documentary on the Discovery channel, rescue swimming might be exciting, as a movie it's a little harder to keep an audience's attention. Thought the Movie would have definably touched most of the audience’s hearts, in the end.
VFXTalk also did a Interview with Mark Stasiuk of Fusion CI Studios that covered the work done with Realflow in order to make the water look so realistic, you can check it out here: