A lot of classic series are making a return in 2017, from Twin Peaks season 3 on the small screen to an actually Alien-looking Alien prequel in theaters, but one of the most bonkers is Baywatch. A film based on the lifeguard drama that owned slow-motion decades before Zack Snyder was something mooted even back in the David Hasselhoff years, but now it's finally happening, with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron leading the charge onscreen.
The biggest change-up to the formula appears to be the level of self-awareness. Baywatch was always rather tongue-in-cheek about itself (if you're doing a long-running TV series about lifeguard adventures you kind of have to), but the first trailer for the movie reboot presents Seth Gordon's film as an outright comedy with an almost Jump Street vibe - the whole thing is keen to send itself up. While that trailer doesn't offer much evidence of the film's R-Rated content, a newly-unveiled international preview for the movie delivers a better taste of just that.
Boasting a lot more of the beach-focused action and scantily-clad cast (of both genders), this new trailer sells the film as a ridiculous adventure and brings some of that R material, especially when it comes to language. There's still room for some more meta gags here too, with Efron saying that Baywatch's plot - a gangster (played by Priyanka Chopra) taking over the beach, leading to lots of drugs and murder - resembles "a really entertaining, but farfetched TV show." Spot on.
Johnson has gone to great efforts in the past to point out that the film (which placed on Screen Rant's most anticipated films of 2017 list) is going to be "edgy, raunchy and hopefully, funny as hell", and now we finally have a taste of that - the star's "Baywatch, motherf*cker" is no doubt going to become the film's defining catchphrase. It's still not clear what the movie's plot is beyond the simple gangster summary, although that may be because it's more of an excuse for lots of beach running and action; here alone for example, we get speedboat chases, exploding boats and a weightlifting race between Johnson and Efron.
So, yes, the film does indeed look to be trying to have the most fun as possible; the self-referential in-jokes about the Baywatch "brand" appear to be very on the nose, but that's only one part of the silliness. And there's a lot we still haven't seen yet what with original Baywatch TV show stars David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson returning in some form in the movie reboot - something that could indeed be "funny as hell."
Source: Paramount Pictures International
- Baywatch (2017) release date: May 25, 2017