With Memorial Day weekend, summer arrives in the American conscience. And what’s more summer (or more American), than Baywatch, that 242-episode icon that lives in everyone’s collective slow-motion memories of the 1990s?
The last episode wrapped a long time ago, but Paramount is bringing Baywatch back, refreshed and updated for the cinema, next Thursday, May 25:
Long-time fans likely don’t need a lot of incentive to don their red swim trunks and life jackets and get in line outside the theater. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Baywatch, however, here are eight reasons why you should stake out a spot in your favorite beach chair now:
1) Everybody loves Dwayne Johnson
Johnson is so perfectly suited to be so many things that when Paramount released G.I. Joe: Retaliation in 2013, he was the natural pick to star as heavy machine gunner Roadblock, one of the most popular Joes of all time.
And he plays a starring role as Mitch Buchannon, the jetski-riding, bad-guy chasing, refrigerator-carrying man about beach who leads the Baywatch lifeguard team. Who else would dive underneath a raging fire and emerge in the bowels of a burning yacht to save someone? And who doesn’t want to see that?
The answer: no one.
“In an age when it’s cooler to hate things than enjoy them, Johnson has carved out an improbable niche for himself, as someone it’s safe to like,” GQ’s Caty Weaver wrote recently. “Maybe you like him because he’s big and does fast things in slow motion. Maybe you like him because he had one song to sing in the children’s musical he was cast in, and he sang it with his whole heart. Undeniably, he is likable…”
2) Dwayne Johnson love Zac Efron (and so will you)
Johnson, who is People’s reining Sexiest Man Alive, recently endorsed costar Zac Efron – who plays Olympic gold medalist Matt Brody in the film – as a candidate to assume his title next year.
“Do I get a vote? Then yes, absolutely I could see that,” Johnson told People. “I could see one out of five happening, I can’t divulge that right now, but he’s in the top five.”
And what’s not to like? While Brody saunters onto the beach as a hotshot international swimming star, he reprises the role of affable dufus that Efron excels at. Buchannon mocks him as “One Direction” and makes him haul tandem refrigerators across the beach to prove himself. But that doesn’t stop Brody from leading monster parties, chasing criminals in “lifeguard pursuit” down the boardwalk, and, you know, leaping off a freaking motorcycle into the ocean.
3) But then again, the Rock loves everyone
The Baywatch beach is big, and there’s a lot of talent filling it up. On the Forces of Good side of the credits, Alexandra Daddario plays Summer Quinn, Kelly Rorhbach reprises the role of C.J. Parker, and Ilfenesh Hadera plays Buchannon’s second-in-command Stephanie Holden. Meanwhile, Priyanka Chopra, a former Miss World and one of the most popular Bollywood celebrities in India, tries out her evil cackling as Victoria Leeds, whose materialization in the Baywatch environs has directly corresponded with an uptick in violence and drug smuggling. The Rock, peering down from his lifeguard chair, nods approvingly at them all:
I truly luv and appreciate every single one of these good humans. @thejonbass @priyankachopra @ilfenator @alexandradaddario @kellyrohrbach @zacefron. They all bring their unique values and qualities to elevate the game. They’re all PHENOMENAL and F’N HILARIOUS in our movie and I’ll happily commit and go the distance with them anytime. Just say the word and I got your backs. And your fronts. Let’s all talk about the elephant in the room here…our four bad ass & talented leading ladies are just straight up alien 👽 level gorgeous. So good looking they’re from another planet. It’s just stupid. Stupid. #AvengersOfTheBeach #BAYWATCH🔥 MAY 25th.