Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000 to 2009.
Rattle off a list of tired movie clichés, and they’d pass for the plot of The Guardian, the 2006 Coast Guard drama starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher (or, more accurately, Ashton Kutcher’s Adam’s apple, which bobbed and therefore emoted.)
Married To His Job (Costner), Frustrated Wife, Tragic Accident, Mortally Wounded Partner, Give Him an Ultimatum, Take a Desk Job He Doesn’t Want or Teach the Next Generation.
Battles His Inner Demons, Cold Sweats, Pain Pills Chased with Wild Turkey, Crippling Flashbacks, Friendly Female Bartender.
Scrappy New Recruits, Token Black Guy, Pipsqueak Who Toughens Up, Arduous Training, Group Decompression Through Hip-Hop.
Overly Cocky Cadet (Kutcher), Tough-Love Relationship, Sneaks Off to Bars, Meets a Townie Hesitant to Love, Hidden Secret, Late-Night Bar Fight, Life or Death Mission Where Sacrifices Must Be Made.
Seriously, about all that Ron L. Brinkerhoff’s script didn’t throw in was the Overly Demanding Father.
Those ridiculously long, disingenuously slick National Guard pre-film ads have nothing on this stupefyingly awful 136-minute Coast Guard advertisement. Its only asset is Costner, offering a bit of alpha-male turned delta-male gravity whether elbowing a flailing, drowning man in the face to save him or berating probationary officers like a pro.
Andrew Davis must have chanted “I made The Fugitive every morning as his motivation en route to the set. There is something truly funny about The Guardian — not that Disney paid to make it, but that it closes with A Bryan Adams Power Ballad.