(out of 5)
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 big-screen parody adaptation. 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 the immediately butt heads. They 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.
Directed by Seth Gordon
Cinematography by Eric Steelberg
Music by Christopher Lennertz
Production Design by Shepherd Frankel
Costume Design by Dayna Pink
Film Editing by Peter S. Elliot