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The life­guards with model looks re­turn for ‘filthy fun’

Life & Style Weekend - - SCREEN LIFE - With Seanna Cronin

TWO chis­elled men emerge from the surf. One of them looks like a god while the other, well, he’s gasp­ing for air and doesn’t even re­alise there’s a jel­ly­fish stuck to his chest.

But both of them are will­ing to be the butt of the joke to make you, the cinema-goer, laugh.

Bay­watch takes two of Hol­ly­wood’s lead­ing hunks, Dwayne John­son and Zac Efron, and throws them right into the thick of the ac­tion and some very crude jokes.

The adults-only com­edy re­turns to sun, sand and barely-there swimwear of the iconic ’90s TV se­ries, but with a mod­ern and raunchy twist.

John­son, who also serves as an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, plays Mitch Buchan­non, a de­voted life­guard who is a lo­cal folk hero in Emer­ald Bay.

“Dwayne’s a re­ally lovely dude,” Efron tells Week­end. “He’s a big guy – he’s The Rock – but he’s just a big softie.

“Ev­ery­thing’s a lit­tle bit hap­pier when he’s around; he’s like a piece of Hawaii.”

But Mitch clashes with brash new re­cruit Matt Brody, a two-time Olympic gold medal-win­ning swim­mer turned bad boy who thinks he can skip Bay­watch’s an­nual try-outs.

“At the Olympics, Brody won his solo events, but messed up the team re­lay be­cause he got drunk the night be­fore,” Efron says. “He did some il­le­gal stuff, and join­ing Bay­watch is part of his pa­role.

“For Mitch, join­ing Bay­watch is a highly com­pet­i­tive hon­our that has to be earned. But for Brody, it’s a pun­ish­ment.”

De­spite their dif­fer­ences, and Brody’s ten­dency to jump head-first into res­cue sit­u­a­tions with­out think­ing things through, Mitch and Brody must work to­gether with the rest of the team to un­cover a lo­cal crim­i­nal plot that threat­ens the fu­ture of the Bay.

This new Bay­watch is a buddy com­edy of sorts full of “filthy fun’’, as John­son de­scribes it.

“He’s al­ways will­ing to push the en­ve­lope... the more in­sults and jabs he gave to my char­ac­ter, I was se­cretly tak­ing as com­pli­ments be­cause it was just kind of cool,” Efron says.

While he’s known for his phys­i­cal fit­ness and “10-pack’’ abs, Efron had to work hard to bulk up and then main­tain the body of an Olympic swim­mer. “I built a gym in my garage... it was rough but it worked,” he says. “Ev­ery morn­ing be­tween 4.30am and 5am I’d do a train­ing ses­sion and then it was hair and make-up (laughs). You’re like pump­ing iron and then you’re get­ting your make-up done. It was lit­er­ally man­li­ness and then man­li­ness re­versed.”

Grow­ing up a few hours north of Los An­ge­les, Efron wasn’t al­lowed to watch the orig­i­nal Bay­watch TV se­ries.

“I wasn’t al­lowed to watch Bay­watch,” he says. “But I do re­mem­ber sneak­ing it, late at night, af­ter Howard Stern on a crappy old TV with a dial. One time, I was chan­nel flip­ping and came across this awe­some show full of boats and ex­plo­sions and I just thought the whole thing was amaz­ing.”

Efron’s a keen surfer but ad­mits his ocean skills would never stack up to the likes of a pro­fes­sional life­guard.

“Ocean swims and rip tides, all that stuff is in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult,” he says. “I want to mas­ter it so bad, but it’s re­ally dif­fi­cult and I’m still work­ing on it.

“Even with this movie with the coaches, the ocean swims were al­ways the scari­est.”

Bay­watch also stars Alexan­dra Dad­dario and Jon Bass as bright young re­cruits Sum­mer Quinn and Ron­nie Green­baum, Ilfe­nesh Hadera as Mitch’s sec­ond-in-com­mand Stephanie Holden, and Sports Il­lus­trated swim­suit model Kelly Rohrbach as CJ Parker – the role made fa­mous by Pamela An­der­son.

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