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‘Baywatch’ trailer knows what the series was really about (Includes first-hand account)

The definition of “family-friendly programming” was different a few decades ago. We thought Looney Tunes was great entertainment for kids (when’s the last time you saw someone get flattened with a mallet on Saturday morning?) and didn’t have a problem with shows that objectified people’s bodies coming on at any time of the day. Of course the networks still received complaints from far-right conservatives, but the majority of audiences and executives didn’t see the problem. Things have changed a lot since then, but that’s emboldened some big screen revivals of small screen hits to push the boundaries even more than the originals. One of the most anticipated of these re-imaginings is the Baywatch movie.

The Baywatch beach is the elite home of some of the best-looking lifeguards — but they take their jobs very seriously. When Matt Brody (Zac Efron) agrees to join the team and improve their brand with his Olympic gold medal status, he thinks they “prevent people from getting sunburned and occasionally stop them from drowning.” But Mitch Buchanan (Dwayne Johnson) takes protecting their beach to the next level, so when drugs and dead bodies start washing ashore he believes it’s up to them to deal with the source of the problem (Priyanka Chopra)… not the police. The result is multiple explosions and lots of damaged property — but all in the name of making their beach safer.

As if it wasn’t obvious in the trailer, in a recent interview Johnson promised the R-rated comedy will be dirtier than the original. “We are far dirtier than the show ever was — obviously the show was a family show on at family time of day — but in the movie we could have been dirtier,” he said. “I think people are going to be shocked that Baywatch has got dirty — but there are a lot of laughs. We worked hard to make sure the flesh quota was high, there’s more gratuitous boobs, bums, abs, whatever per minute than you can imagine. Plot was important, don’t get me wrong, but so was sorting out our slow motion runs.”

Fitness was clearly important for the actors who achieved extraordinary levels of reduced body fat. But it looks like they had fun doing it with amusing images shared on social media during the shoot showing Efron competing with Johnson in absurd weightlifting competitions to maintain their prowess — all in the name of surf, sand, sun… and babes. The raunchy remake opens May 26.

zacefron refuse to quit in a tire shrugging contest that lasted for hours. Why? Because we’re #BAYWATCH, we’re bad ass and we’re a slightly dysfunctional family. ✔️ On a side discipline note juuuuuust wait til you see the insane shape my boy Efron got in for our movie. Proud of the hard work he put in. That’s the way you make a character “Iconic”. I still kicked his candy ass though in this contest. #OnSet #TwoMeatheadsActingLike12YearOlds #EpicFunThough #BAYWATCH SUMMER 2017

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

therock who I happened to get in a tire flipping race with on #Baywatch. Needless to say I lost this one – come at me on the 50 yard dash and we’ll see what happens, Sasquatch 😉

A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on

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Sarah Gopaul is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for film news, a member of the Online Film Critics Society and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved critic.

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