The Guardian

A Buena Vista release of a Touchstone Pictures and Beacon Pictures presentation of a Contrafilm/Firm Films production. Produced by Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson. Executive producers: Charles Lyons, Peter Macgregor-Scott, Armyan Bernstein, Zanne Devine. Directed by Andrew Davis. Screenplay, Ron L. Brinkerhoff.

Ben Randall - Kevin Costner
Jake Fischer - Ashton Kutcher
Emily Thomas - Melissa Sagemiller
Maggie McGlone - Bonnie Bramlett
Capt. William
"Bill" Hadley - Clancy Brown
Helen Randall - Sela Ward
Jack Skinner - Neal McDonough
Frank Larson - John Heard
Hodge - Brian Geraghty

By Joe Leydon
September 17, 2006

Kevin Costner plays a tough basic training instructor in the Andrew Davis-helmed pic.
Aston Kutcher stars as an elite Coast Guard recruit
challenged to prove himself worthy of the uniform in Buena Vista's 'The Guardian.'

Cliches and conventions from several generations of basic-training scenarios are proficiently recycled in "The Guardian," a shrewdly updated version of classic (and not-so-classic) military-themed pics about grizzled, blunt-spoken vets who transform cocksure hotheads into coolly efficient professionals.

With Kevin Costner well cast as a demanding mentor haunted by past failures, and Ashton Kutcher surprisingly effective as a brash recruit dealing with his own demons, the overlong but involving drama has obvious cross-generational appeal. Add some exciting rescue-at-sea sequences, and you have the potential for an early fall breakout hit.