|Directed by||Andrew Davis|
|Written by||Ron L. Brinkerhoff|
|Based on||[ citation needed ]|
|Cinematography||Stephen St. John|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$95 million|
The Guardian is a 2006 American action-adventure drama film directed by Andrew Davis. The film stars Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher and Melissa Sagemiller. The title of the film refers to a legendary figure within the film which protects people lost at sea: "the Guardian". The film focuses on the United States Coast Guard and their Aviation Survival Technician program. The Guardian was released on September 29, 2006.
It is also loosely based on the Japanese film Umizaru (2004).
The film opens with a description of a legend told by people who have survived being lost at sea: a presence, referred to as the Guardian, which pushed them to the surface, enabling them to survive until help arrived.
Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) is the top rescue swimmer at the United States Coast Guard's Aviation Survival Technician (AST) program, but the long hours have destroyed his marriage. When on a rescue, Ben loses his team in a HH-60J Jayhawk helicopter crash at sea. While waiting in a survival raft, his best friend, Chief Petty Officer Carl Billings (Omari Hardwick), dies. Shaken by survivor guilt, Ben is transferred to become an instructor at the Coast Guard AST training school. He develops a legendary reputation among the students for his high number of rescues.
Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) is a hot-shot candidate for AST. Ranked as a top high school competitive swimmer with scholarships to every Ivy League college, Jake instead opts to enlist in the Coast Guard. During training, Jake meets local schoolteacher, Emily Thomas (Melissa Sagemiller), and they begin a casual relationship.
The initial weeks of training end with most of the students dropping out and advanced instruction begins. Jake is late for class and Ben punishes his entire class for his tardiness. Believing Jake to be lazy and unmotivated, Ben tries to force him to quit. He gradually begins to see Jake's persistence and dedication.
Jake meets Emily in a bar and tells her about beating Ben's old records. The bartender, a friend of Ben's, tells Jake about a time when Ben injured himself saving every victim from a burning hospital ship full of invalid patients.
Later, a friend of Jake's is afraid of failing school because he is unable to cope with panicked victims in the water. Jake takes him out for a drink at a Navy bar to cheer him up. They get in a fight and land in jail after being badly beaten by the Navy sailors, causing Jake to miss a date with Emily.
Chief Aviation Survival Technician Jack Skinner (Neal McDonough) bails Jake out. Back on base, Ben and Jake get into a confrontation about their pasts. It is revealed that during high school, Jake was involved in a car crash while on the way home with his teammates. It is revealed Jake lost the flip to be the designated driver and, although completely sober, blames himself for the accident. The two bond over the common experience of being the only survivor of fatal accidents. They return to the bar and fight the sailors again, this time winning. Jake returns to base and takes the blame for the fight.
At graduation, only a handful of candidates remain. Jake has emerged as a leader during training. Emily attends his graduation, but they end their relationship because Jake is leaving for an assignment at CG Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, Ben's previous post.
Ben and Jake are sent to rescue two kayakers trapped in a cave. Ben experiences flashbacks and Jake must guide him, but the rescue is eventually successful. Ben decides to retire after this. He tells Jake that the only record he kept track of was the 22 people he lost during his career. Ben apologizes to his wife and indicates he will not contest the divorce.
Jake is sent to rescue the crew of a sinking fishing trawler. During the rescue, he becomes trapped in the ship. His helicopter is forced to return to base, where Ben hears of the situation and decides to suit up and go out to rescue Jake personally. He frees Jake from the hull. As they are winched upwards towards the helicopter, their combined weight causes the winch cable to begin separating. Knowing that the cable will break, Ben unclips himself so that Jake can survive. Jake catches him, but Ben removes his glove and slips free, plummeting into the ocean. His body is never found.
Much later, Jake is on a rescue mission, when one of the survivors repeats the legend of the Guardian to him. Jake connects the legend to Ben. He then surprises Emily when she is teaching her class at school, telling her that he lied to her. "I can't do just 'casual,'" he says, referencing their commitment earlier to keep things uncommitted. She smiles as they embrace and kiss.
David Dobkin was originally slated to direct The Guardian until being replaced by Andrew Davis. Ron Brinkerhoff was also originally involved, making the pitch for a mid-six-figure-budgeted film, before Disney took over the production.
Following the series of hurricanes in the southern United States in 2005, production moved to Shreveport, Louisiana. Some of the base scenes were filmed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana and at Camp Minden in Minden, Louisiana. Some of the scenes that were supposed to be filmed in Kodiak, Alaska were actually filmed at CG Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Sixty thousand pounds of ice were needed on the set. The training pool used in the movie was LSU–Shreveport's natatorium. The wave scenes were filmed at Louisiana Wave Studio, Metropolitan Ave, Lynbrook, Shreveport.
The film was revised after Hurricane Katrina, with the addition of several comments on the storm and the rescues. The end credits are replete with "glory" shots of U.S. Coast Guard helicopters conducting rescues in the greater New Orleans area. The DVD contains a special feature on U.S. Coast Guard rescue operations, especially in the aftermath of Katrina.
Many of the supporting actors in The Guardian, including ASTC instructors, helicopter pilots, and support personnel, are actual U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers, pilots, and ground personnel. Several characters, including Kutcher's, identify themselves as airmen. An airman is the enlisted rating of a Coast Guardsman who is undesignated and/or currently undergoing training in an aviation related field. Similar ratings within the Coast Guard are those of seaman and fireman.
One of the students was Mark Gangloff, an Olympic swimmer who received a gold medal in the Athens Olympic Games. The production company hired local contractors to build a massive indoor wave pool for production.
The mishap in The Guardian where Randall loses his crew is loosely based on an actual U.S. Coast Guard aviation mishap in Alaska. The aircraft was an HH-3F Pelican (USCG variant of the Jolly Green Giant) instead of the HH-60J Jayhawk (USCG variant of the Blackhawk/Seahawk) pictured in the movie.
In an alternate ending to The Guardian, found on the DVD, Randall survives. As he unhooks and tries to fall, Jake again grabs him and vows not to let go. Instead of unstrapping his glove, Randall lets the cable pull them up and it breaks just as they get into the helicopter. This ending was added because some of the writers were worried that the original ending was too strong for viewers. Nonetheless, it was scrapped when Disney chairman, Dick Cook, applauded the original ending.
| Soundtrack album by |
|Released||September 12, 2006|
The soundtrack of The Guardian was released by Hollywood Records on September 12, 2006.The soundtrack uses a variety of music genres, including R&B, country music, rock, soul and blues.
|1.||"Never Let Go" (performed by Bryan Adams)||5:05|
|2.||"Something to Talk About" (performed by Shedaisy)||3:54|
|3.||"Saturday Night" (performed by Ozomatli)||4:01|
|4.||"Love & Happiness" (performed by Bonnie Bramlett)||4:32|
|5.||"The Mockingbird" (performed by Lisa Lavie)||3:07|
|6.||"Hold Tight" (performed by Tad Robinson)||4:03|
|7.||"Tri-Me" (performed by Abby Ahmad)||4:33|
|8.||"Hold On, I'm Coming" (performed by Bonnie Bramlett)||2:57|
|9.||"Shake Up the World" (performed by Stevie "Funkworm" Butler)||4:09|
|10.||"Friday Night" (performed by Cheryl Wilson)||3:00|
|11.||"Run Me in the Dirt (Throwdown)" (performed by Butch Flythe & Joseph "Butch" Flythe)||3:29|
|12.||"The Guardian Suite" (performed by Trevor Rabin)||7:39|
The Guardian earned $18 million on its opening weekend (#2 at the box office behind Open Season ), and almost $95 million worldwide by January 4, 2007.
At Rotten Tomatoes, The Guardian received a 37% "Rotten" rating, based on 149 reviews. The site's consensus states: "The Coast Guard gets its chance for a heroic movie tribute, but The Guardian does it no justice, borrowing cliche after cliche from other (and better) military branch movies."While Metacritic rates it a 53/100 based on 29 reviews. Stephen Hunter pans it in The Washington Post , calling it "a good little film" for the first hour then it "begins to overload its frail reed of a structure with giant sloppages of cliches from other movies, some so bad it's almost comical", concluding that the movie "veers off into slobbery touchy-feeliness, and the tone becomes mock-religious, almost liturgical." Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe called it "dutiful but dull." A. O. Scott, in his review for The New York Times , notes that participation by actual members of the Coast Guard "lends an air of authenticity" and concludes "... [i]t's not a great movie, but it's certainly one of the finest Coast Guard pictures you're likely to see anytime soon." In a Variety review, Joe Leydon says the movie is "overlong but [the] involving drama has obvious cross-generational appeal." Ed Blank in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review acknowledges there is plenty to snipe at yet adds: The Guardian "regurgitates formulaic elements in a way that pays off repeatedly and potently."
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight uniformed services. The service is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its duties. It is the largest and most powerful coast guard in the world, rivaling the capabilities and size of most navies.
The Eurocopter MH-65 Dolphin is a twin-engined helicopter operated by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for medevac-capable search and rescue (SAR) and armed Airborne Use of Force missions. It is a variant of the French-built Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin.
Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak is an Air Station of the United States Coast Guard located in Kodiak, Alaska. It is the largest in the service's Pacific Area, with a crew of 85 officers and 517 enlisted personnel, and the largest Coast Guard Base in terms of physical size at 23,000 acres. It is a tenant command of Base Support Unit Kodiak, and shares its airfield with Kodiak Airport. The station operates MH-60 Jayhawk and MH-65 Dolphin helicopters, and the HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft.
The Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk is a multi-mission, twin-engine, medium-range helicopter operated by the United States Coast Guard for search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness and marine environmental protection missions. It was originally designated HH-60J before being upgraded and redesignated beginning in 2007.
Pararescuemen are United States Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and Air Combat Command (ACC) operators tasked with recovery and medical treatment of personnel in humanitarian and combat environments. These special operations units are also used to support NASA missions and have been used to recover astronauts after water landings. They are attached to other special operations units from all branches to conduct other operations as appropriate. Of the roughly 200 Air Force Cross recipients, only 24 are enlisted rank, of which 12 are Pararescuemen. Part of the Air Force Special Operations community and long an enlisted preserve, the Pararescue service expanded to include Combat Rescue Officers early in the 21st century.
The Captain William J. Kossler, USCG Award is given by the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International for "the greatest achievement in practical application or operation of rotary wing aircraft, the value of which has been demonstrated by actual service during the preceding calendar year." The award consists of one certificate for the selected individual or crew and honors the memory of William J. Kossler, a U.S. Coast Guard airman, aeronautical engineer and early advocate of helicopters in USCG operations.
The Sikorsky HH-52 Seaguard was a single turbine engine, three-blade rotor amphibious helicopter. Originally developed as a commercial venture by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation of Stratford, Connecticut, it was used by the United States Coast Guard primarily for air-sea rescue. The HH-52 has been replaced by non-amphibious types such as the HH-65 Dolphin, which rely solely on the use of a winch from a low hover to conduct rescue operations.
Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City is a United States Coast Guard Air Station co-located at Elizabeth City Regional Airport in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, along the Pasquotank River near the opening of the Albemarle Sound. The base has a garrison of approximately 855 officers and enlisted. The Coast Guard air station is also one of the busiest in the U.S. Coast Guard, operating missions as far away as Greenland, the Azores and the Caribbean. This is the only Coast Guard base able to service coast guard aircraft.
Rescue swimmer is a designation given to rescue specialists, most commonly in the service of the military. Rescue swimmers usually are charged with the rescue, assessment, and rendering of medical aid to persons in distress in the sea, on the land, or in the air. This highly specialized position is extremely challenging.
Aviation Survival Technician (AST) is a rating or job specialty in the United States Coast Guard. Rescue swimmer is the collateral duty or aircrew position of the AST. They are trained at the U.S. Coast Guard's enlisted Aviation Survival Technician/Rescue Swimmer school at Coast Guard Aviation Technical Training Center, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Charles W. Sexton, Machinery Technician First Class, USCG, was awarded a posthumous award of the Coast Guard Medal for "extraordinary heroism."
Coast Guard Air Station Astoria was established August 14, 1964 at Astoria Regional Airport in Warrenton, Oregon, United States.
Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod is a United States Coast Guard air station located on Joint Base Cape Cod formerly known as Otis Air National Guard Base in Sandwich, Massachusetts. It operates from New York City to the Canada–US border. It was founded in 1970 as a replacement to Coast Guard Air Station Salem.
Coast Guard Air Station Salem was a United States Coast Guard air station located in Salem, Massachusetts from 1935 to 1970. Its area of coverage extended from New York City to the Canada–United States border.
FV Alaska Ranger was a fishing factory ship owned and operated by the Fishing Company of Alaska of Seattle, Washington. The ship was constructed in 1973 for use as an oil field service vessel. The ship sank 23 March 2008, after reporting progressive flooding only hours earlier. Of the 47 on board, 42 were rescued. Of the five fatalities, four were recovered dead, and one was never found. The Coast Guard was initially misinformed about the number of persons on board the vessel, and secured the search with one crew member still unaccounted for. After realizing there was still one person missing, the Coast Guard reinstated the search, but did not find the crew member.
The Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) is an armed United States Coast Guard helicopter squadron specializing in Airborne Use of Force (AUF) and drug-interdiction missions. It is based at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
Mobile Coast Guard Aviation Training Center is an air base of the United States Coast Guard located at Mobile, Alabama, where it shares an airfield with the Mobile Regional Airport. The Alabama Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 131st Aviation Regiment's "B" Company is also located at the airfield. The base is also home to the Coast Guard National Strike Force's Gulf Strike Team.
Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi is an Air Station of the United States Coast Guard located in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Station is co-located with Sector Corpus Christi offices at Corpus Christi International Airport. The Coast Guard Air Detachment was established on 20 November 1950, and served the entire western Gulf of Mexico with one PBY-5 Catalina fixed wing aircraft, and four pilots. In 1965, the detachment was formally designated USCG Air Station Corpus Christi. Early aircraft consisted of HU-16E Albatross, HH-52A Seaguard helicopter, HC-131 Samaritan, and HU-25A fanjet's. Following extensive personnel and equipment changes in the operations department, the air station became fully operational on October 15, 1980, and operated as one of thirteen Coast Guard Group units between Port O'Connor, Texas and the Mexican border. The Station, maintained a 24-hour Search and rescue capability, with the use of three HH-52A helicopters and three HU-25A fanjets. The Unit averaged over 400 rescues a year, which included searches for overdue vessels, assisting sinking or disabled boats, and medical evacuations from offshore oil rigs. In the spring of 1986 the station's HH-52s were replaced with the Aérospatiale HH-65 Dolphin helicopter. In May 2005 the Coast Guard commissioned Air station Corpus Christi to combine all the units within the area of Port Lavaca to Brownsville under one unified command.
Edward K. Beale is an author and retired United States Coast Guard Commander. He is a native of Tolland, Connecticut.
Oliver Fuller Berry was a chief petty officer in the United States Coast Guard who was chosen to be the namesake for the twenty-fourth cutter of the Sentinel class. He was one of the first Coast Guard aircraft technicians trained to work on helicopters.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Guardian (film) .|