Surf’s up as Hol­ly­wood stars Dwayne John­son and Zac Efron help give iconic Amer­i­can TV show Bay­watch a raunchy movie makeover

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - NEWS -

For a gen­er­a­tion of fans, Bay­watch was an es­capist fan­tasy that in­voked sun, surf and some fa­mously sil­i­cone-en­hanced stars jog­ging slo-mo in form-fit­ting red Ly­cra across the beaches of Cal­i­for­nia.

It drew in a weekly 1.1 bil­lion view­ers from 148 coun­tries at its 1990s peak, of­fer­ing sun with­out sun­burn, golden sand with­out sandy sand­wiches and David Has­sel­hoff with­out the has­sle.

A new movie star­ring Dwayne John­son hits theatres to­day, promis­ing a raunchier Bay­watch that will suc­ceed where many TV to big-screen con­ver­sions – The Dukes of Haz­zard, CHiPs and Lost in Space – have failed.

John­son, who ex­ec­u­tive produced, and di­rec­tor Seth Gor­don ( Horrible Bosses) in­sisted on aim­ing for an Amer­i­can R-rat­ing (MA15+ in Aus­tralia) rather than the more fam­ily-friendly PG13, be­cause they didn’t want to rein in the edgy hu­mour, strong lan­guage and nu­dity.

The jokes are dirt­ier, the white-knuckle stunts are more intense and there’s more flesh on show, al­though – from the lin­ger­ing shots of Zac Efron’s toned torso to a cringe-wor­thy scene in a mor­tu­ary – much of it is male.

The movie fol­lows de­voted, overzeal­ous, life­guard Mitch Buchan­non – John­son tak­ing over from the role made fa­mous on TV by Has­sel­hoff – as he butts heads with a brash new re­cruit (Efron) while in­ves­ti­gat­ing a drugsmug­gling ring.

Alexan­dra Dad­dario, 31, who plays rookie life­guard Sum­mer Quinn, re­mem­bers ex­pect­ing that the shoot in Florida and Ge­or­gia would mostly in­volve go­ing to “look at hot chicks and hot guys and hang out on the beach all day”.

“You don’t re­ally re­alise that you’re go­ing to be out there from sun­rise to sun­set, it’s go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly sunny, you’re go­ing to be squint­ing into the sun,” she says. “You can’t eat a ham­burger, you have to eat light, you have to keep your stom­ach sucked in the whole time.”

Al­ready a global star, Priyanka Cho­pra makes her US de­but as the vil­lain of the piece, ruth­less busi­ness­woman Vic­to­ria Leeds – a part orig­i­nally writ­ten for a man. “I think the spirit of Bay­watch is re­ally the fact that you do some­thing which is big­ger than your­self,” Cho­pra says.

“You’re sav­ing peo­ple’s lives in an ocean, which can con­sume you com­pletely. And that’s the spirit of ca­ma­raderie, of team work, of ac­tu­ally work­ing to­gether, which is what Vic­to­ria hates. But I think that’s the spirit of Bay­watch.” Bay­watch is out in all ma­jor cine­mas to­day

Dwayne John­son and Zac Efron star in the up­dated ver­sion of Bay­watch, which prom­ises to be far edgier than the TV show.

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