The Baywatch remake seems to have been years in the making; a throwback to the days when Starsky & Hutch temporarily made spoofy adaptations of deadly serious TV shows a viable prospect. But, now – finally – the first Baywatch trailer is here. Can it beat the odds and actually offer everything it promises while staying relatively faithful to the original? Let’s find out.
We start promisingly enough, with a shot of a sexy figure walking through the surf at sunset. This is original Baywatch all over: superficial gorgeousness concealing what is likely to be a sewage-infested ocean.
However, because this is 2016, David Hasselhoff has now been replaced by the Rock. Not only is the Rock bigger and more self-aware than Hasselhoff, he’s also far less likely to unironically release a terrible song. Unless you count that one he released with Wyclef 16 years ago, of course. Which you shouldn’t. Actually, you know what: just pretend I didn’t mention it.
Anyway, the Rock is sensible and good at his job and so conscientious that he turns down an offer of sexual intercourse from a woman on a burning boat. That’s just the kind of straight-up guy the Rock is.
However – and brace yourself for HEAVY PLOT EXPOSITION – the Rock is told that the Baywatch brand has become diminished somehow. I mean, that seems unlikely because people get stuck out at sea just as much as they always did, plus the Rock is such an unstoppable PR machine that he doesn’t even have sex with women on the deck of a boat that can only realistically be 30 seconds away from exploding in a fiery ball of death. But let’s just go with it, because the government’s plan to jazz up Baywatch involves recruiting …
Zac Efron! And, to be fair, this seems like a smart move on the part of the government. After all, Zac Efron’s career has taken a hit over the last few years, to the extent that he’s now only really allowed to play douchey himbo side-characters in slightly tedious comedy movies. At least Baywatch will allow him to show off a bit more range.
Or, you know, he’ll just play a douchey himbo side-character here too. Whatever works, I guess.
And here’s where the story really starts. Dead bodies start washing up on the Rock’s beach, and he decides to take Zac Efron to investigate. And that’s where the story ends, because from here on in, Baywatch becomes a film about the Rock and Zac Efron vocally impersonating their own gonads over and over again forever to diminishing returns because the director has slightly overestimated their ability to improvise. That’s all this film is.
And gratuitous shots of boobs, obviously, because Baywatch.
And hilarious capers where the Rock, Zac Efron and the woman who played the Rock’s daughter in San Andreas last year dress up funny and sneak into a hospital like this is bloody Cannonball Run or something. And other scenes where Zac Efron continues to confound anyone who ever doubted his ability as a comedian, even though all he ever really does is take his top off and shout a lot.
And, of course, a scene with a racial misunderstanding. There. The Rock, boobs, the inexplicable continuation of Zac Efron’s comedy career, talking testicles and nobody having any sex whatsoever on an exploding wooden boat in the middle of the sea. That’s what Baywatch is. It’s going to be a blockbuster.