Dig Kevin Costner as Ben Randall, a tragic, middle-aged wash-up-as a bartender says to him early in this movie, "Your wife left you, your best friend died, you sound like a damn country song. If you had a dog it'd be run over by now." He's also an accomplished Coast Guard rescue swimmer, which is the source of most of his troubles; his wife splits because he's more married to the job than her, and then the inevitable mission-gone-horribly-wrong claims the lives of his crew and leaves him the lone survivor. Temporarily relegated to training at a Coast Guard academy, Randall fosters an antagonistic relationship with his top student, cocky athlete Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher), who he knows is in it for the glory of breaking Randall's records, not saving lives. It's all pretty boilerplate, but the absolutely terrifying rescue scenes and the friction between Costner and Kutcher elevate The Guardian just above your average sentimental yarn about heartbreaking feats of heroism--at least until that Bryan Adams power ballad plays over the credits.