The élite rescue swimmers of the US Coast Guard were the only administrative body to surface from the debacle that was ‘the response’ to Hurricane Katrina with any credit. As a reward they’ve been given the Hollywood badge of honour - a film dedicated to their heroism. They might, though, not be so happy that the concoction is a second-rate hybrid of Top Gun, An Officer and a Gentleman and Full Metal Jacket.
Ben (Kevin Costner) loses all his colleagues in a badly edited rescue attempt, his wife ditches him, and to top it off he’s ordered to teach at the Coast Guard’s elite training school. Here young Jake (Ashton Kutcher) enters the fray playing a cocky cadet who breaks hearts as easily as he does swimming records. It’s actually this section of the film that is the most enjoyable with the stern master and rebellious pupil playing well off each other. Predictably, however, director Andrew The Fugitive Davies and writer Ron L Brinkerhoff (whose sole previous screenwriting credit is for Stallone vehicle D-Tox) sends them on a post graduation rescue mission that is as tiresome as it is drawn out.