Cert 15 116mins Stars 2
Flaunting its saucy seafront of solidly buttressed flesh, the only thing modest about this pumped up update of the 1990’s TV show is its ambition.
Based on the adventures of crime-solving lifeguards, the show was a worldwide smash. This success was due to the frequency with which improbably beautiful women ran in slow-mo through the surf, en route to saving the day.
This big screen reboot is an exercise in body shaming on a global scale, its bikini-sized comedy brains existing only to flex its action biceps.
It revives the formula with a lascivious wink. But a light hearted tone, gross out gags and stream of bantz are a poor substitute for a decent joke or a smart script.
Buff bromantic lifeguards Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron are joined on the team by Jon Bass. He’s the token shy, fat, ugly techie guy. Johnson is given to making motivational speeches about duty, family and team work, just as he does in his The Fast Furious films.
They attempt to solve a case of drugs and corruption which threatens the future of the beach. The bad guy is the ambitious entrepreneur, played by a fully clothed Priyanka Chopra.
The female lifeguards are essentially cheerleaders, they’re a handy reward for the guys when they bust the case. This is a waste, as all three actresses suggest they are more than capable of holding their own against the boys.
Pamela Anderson became a star when she squeezed into the famous red bikini, and she and original star David Hasselhoff make predictable and painful cameos.
By frequently pointing out how absurd the TV show was while going through the same old motions, the film wants to have its cake and eat it. Though I imagine cake is an alien concept to the ridiculously ripped bodies promenading across the beach.