New Straits Times - - World -

FOR a gen­er­a­tion of fans, Bay­watch was an es­capist fan­tasy that in­voked sun, surf and some fa­mously sil­i­coneen­hanced stars jog­ging slomo 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 on Fri­day, promis­ing a raunchier Bay­watch that will suc­ceed where many TV to big screen con­ver­sions like 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 R-rat­ing 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

Des­pac­ito, shots of Zac Efron’s toned torso to a cringe­wor­thy 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 drug smug­gling 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”.

“But you can’t eat a ham­burger, you have to eat light, you have to keep your stom­ach sucked in the whole time.”

Global star Priyanka Cho­pra makes her United States 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 the fact that you do some­thing which is big­ger than your­self,” Cho­pra, 34, said.

“You’re sav­ing peo­ple’s lives in an ocean which can con­sume you com­pletely. And that’s the spirit of ca­ma­raderie, of Bay­watch.” AFP


Des­pac­ito has ruled the US Latin chart for 16 straight weeks.

The song is the first mostly Span­ish-lan­guage track to top the main­stream US chart in 21 years.

In 1996, Macarena by the Span­ish duo Los del Rio con­quered the US as it set off an in­ter­na­tional dance sen­sa­tion, with the song even fig­ur­ing at the Demo­cratic Party’s 1996 con­ven­tion. AFP

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