Bil’s rating (out of 5): B
USA, 2017. Paramount Pictures, Uncharted, Shanghai Film Group, Huahua Media, Flynn Picture Company, Fremantle Productions, The Montecito Picture Company, Seven Bucks Productions, Skydance Media. Story by Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Screenplay by Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, based on the television series by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz, Gregory J. Bonann. Cinematography by Eric Steelberg. Produced by Michael Berk, Gregory J. Bonann, Beau Flynn, Ivan Reitman, Douglas Schwartz. Music by Christopher Lennertz. Production Design by Shepherd Frankel. Costume Design by Dayna Pink. Film Editing by Peter S. Elliot.
Eleven seasons on television saving lives, stopping crime and running on the sand in slow motion was an impressive feat for a show written off as an excuse to ogle hot young bodies in skimpy swimwear, and the success of the 21 Jump Street comedies could only lead to a cinematic parody adaptation of it. Somewhere between the green light and the big screen everything has gone wrong, for this painfully unfunny and overlong misfire fails miserably and barely provides enough laughs to justify its running time or its unnecessarily complicated, yet simultaneously simple, plot.
Dwayne Johnson fills in for David Hasselhoff as the leader of a lifeguard unit on a California beach whose dangerous riptides make it necessary to be in Olympic-level shape to keep up with the near-fatalities that the team is constantly dealing with. Johnson’s smooth line of command is ruined when his boss (a surprisingly awful Rob Huebel) forces him to take on a Ryan Lochte-esque Olympic medalist (Zac Efron, as always trapped awkwardly between sincerity and self-awareness), who has a bad attitude and a love of the indulgent life, and they immediately butt heads.
The two men have to put their differences aside when they realize a corrupt real-estate developer (yes, that old chestnut, played here by a supremely bored Priyanka Chopra) is fueling local drug trade to drive properties down for her own personal greedy plans. The movie runs a robust two-plus hours and wastes the time of a wonderful cast (Kelly Rohrbach is particularly wonderful as Pamela Anderson’s counterpart) for something that is dead in the water from the word go. Don’t watch it for something fun or easy, cause it’s not.