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The Guardian

Year: 2006
Production Co: Beacon Pictures
Studio: Disney
Director: Andrew Davis
Cast: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Clancy Brown
Top... Boat? Top... Divers?? Doesn't have quite the ring to it, except that Tony Scott's 1986 love letter to young, beautiful machismo is the overhead projector sheet through which shines every frame of Kevin Costner's Latest Comeback.

Cocky young up and coming hero? Check -although in this case it isn't extraneous characterisation to make a generation of young boys buy aviator glasses, it's a point the plot wears happily on its sleeve.

The legendary alpha male with the guilt complex on the cusp of becoming too old but whom the youngsters must respect for all their knowledge? Check - although here he's the main character instead of the buffer between the cocky young hero and greatness.

A high octane, masculine lifestyle? Women as pretty window dressing on the sidelines, tempting the hero away from The Path? All present and accounted for, and surely one of them rode a motorcycle...

Costner is a rescue diving legend semi-retired to an elite training facility (yes, the line 'best of the best' is in there somewhere too) after losing his team in a tragic rescue gone wrong.

Taking the class of new recruits and raising eyebrows across the school with his methods, he butts heads with Jake (Kutcher), who clearly wants top of the class, all ability and bluster. But Jake has 'A Past' too and the two men must finally connect through their shared knowledge of loss and tragedy and ride off into the sunset to kick the elements' arse one more time.

Technically adept with some incredible aquatic storm sequences, the idea is 20 years old and acts as a template to apply to any hero motif (in the post 9/11 age, it's applied here to our re-aligned vision of a hero; the cop/firefighter/rescue diver) with aplomb.

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