Tuesday, 30 May 2017
119 Mins. Starring: Dwyane 'The Rock' Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesha Hadera, John Bass, Rob Huebel, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hannibal Buress, Pamela Anderson & David Hasslehoff. Director: Seth Gordon.
Some people sit with their arms folded. Afraid to give in to the light-hearted fun of this 'Baywatch' reboot. But here you have it. Beach, bodies and front bums. Not to mention beach balls and taints. Welcome to the new 'Baywatch' people! Splish, splash! Between The Rock and a Muscle Beach place of hard abs, 'Horrible Bosses' director Seth Gordon brings some beautiful bodies to the lifeguards job on Venice Beach. The 90's iconic orange soda floats are back to swim and screw with the tuna fish. As this 20 year old David Hasselhoff, Yasmin Bleeth and Pamela Anderson T.V. series switches shores from Miami to Malibu. And the 'Frasier' hairy chest of the Hoff for the concrete carved chunk of Dwyane 'The Rock' Johnson as your Mitch Buchannon. Not to mention the 66 pack of 'High School Musical' graduate Zac Efron. Yet not an eyebrow was raised or single f### given. And just when you think no one will quite get it, here is your 'Ghostbusters' Summer surprise blockbuster redux of the year. This meta-self aware T.V. show revival, reboot movie off 'Jump Street' for the "bae-watch" generation sees Johnson and Efron going back and forth like The Rock did with Vin Diesel in their recent candy-a## beef. But here it's all fun and games as the 'Fast and Furious' franchise driver-taking the wheel and refusing to ride shotgun-ignites nitrus in these jet skis. Just watch as his granite strong, bulging biceps point this series protein-shake makeover in the right direction. The better beach is that way.
Wrestling with his WWF alter-ego so much that The Rock now just goes by the government name and alias of Dwyane Johnson, no W.T.F. rapper like hypen middle name (but we still love the brow days, so we continue to pay hallmark homage to the nostalgia), this don Johnson is now a serious actor. And the closest thing we have today to a former bodybuilder turned action-hero actor who can also play comedy up perfectly too, since Governor Schwarzenegger. And just like Arnie this adonis wants to muscle his way into political office. The Rock for President?! President Johnson?! That's got our vote, trumping everyone else right now. Especially as America's favourite dad Tom Hanks has decided to be his running mate. Vice President Hanks?! You betcha! This is just what happens when you host Saturday Night Live and pin everyone in a live New York City to their seats again. You've seen the classic angry, Bruce Banner like 'Ba-Rock Obama' sketch. Now this Hulk hunk could do it for real. But here the man they say is no Superman (but is about to kick the Man Of Steel's ass as D.C.'s Black Adam), shows he is the new franchise king like the McDonalds his 0% body-fat never touches. And you thought 'xXx's return was? Dwyane kisses that all goodbye as his charming charisma wins over even the most ludicrous remake concept here. As the multi-talented entertainer who last year showed us he was just as funny as a Kevin Hart ride along brings even more convincing central intelligence to this lifeguard, turned coast-guard, turned police detective duty and patrol. The Rock turns what could have been a pebble flicking and skimming across the tide of the ocean into something that keeps swimming like Dory.
But even though The Rock is a boulder of ass-kicking action and handing comedy, his 'One Direction' sidekick Zac Efron is no Jonas Brother. With muscles on muscles, the kid who looks like he has extra arms in the veins of his shoulders matches Johnson cardio for iron in the weight room. And gift for gag in the bantering back and forth one-liner department too. As this 'Bad Neighbors' and 'Dirty Grandpa' new king of Franco Frat-Pack comedy is as funny and formidable as they come. Playing a former Olympian who blew it because theres no 'I' in relay. Just think Rio's Ryan Lochte...because this swimmer is a million lengths from Phelps. Still Efron still brings a learning likability and veneer covered vulnerability to this arrested developing douche. Explosively making for a dynamite, dynamic duo to go up against former Miss World and Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra's cooly, villanious Victoria Leeds. But there's more life to these guards in former 'Percy Jackson' and 'True Detective' stand-out Alexandra Daddario on the breakout role of her growing career. Like inspired 'Chi-raq' actress Ilfenesha Hadera on the Rocks right hand side, leaving no one behind. Or model Kelly Rohrbach taking Pamela Anderson's C.J. character miles ahead, albeit in trademark slow motion. Causing a reeled in John Bass to "stand to attention" on the treble, for the films funniest member. From the dance offs to the flirt talk. All as smooth as the sand on a pebble beach. But with no quit in humour and heart, Bass drums up the most laughs in a film that even features classy comedian Hannibal Buress and 'Human Giant' sketch artist, 'I Love You Man' scene stealer Rob Huebel. That is unless Yahya Abdul-Mateen the third has anything to joke about that. Netflix's 'The Get Down' and DC Comics 'Aquaman' star to be Abdul-Mateen III teaming up with The Rock again to show us what a 'Baywatch Nights' spin-off movie would look like by his beat cops book. And what would the bay be without cameos from Pamela Anderson and Hasslehoff himself? The only thing better than seeing him in this franchises second volume is his Knight-Riding cameo in the 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' sequel. But here by the sands he's home. In something that passes the breaking point of being another Bay 'Bad Boys' on the beach (complete with gross out gag heavy morgue scenes). Aside from some muddled misogny amongst the body beautiful and one instance of some blatant product placement when a guy and we are bribed with a Tag Heuer watch (what they had no Rolex's), this is pure, good, somewhat clean white sand fun by the turqouise tide. Surfs up for you swim fans! Gordon's flash remake knows all the best spots on the beach. Sinking Johnny Depp's Sparrow 'Pirates' and any other blockbuster off the Caribbean coming into port. This serious-less series saving itself is keeping everything else at bay. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
See This If You Liked: 'Point Break', 'Central Intelligence', '21 Jump Street'.