A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at jason and the Giant Shark a.k.a. “The Meg,” the new Spike Lee joint ”BlacKkKlansman” and the doggie doo of “Dog Days.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nick Dixon to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including ”BlacKkKlansman,” the latest film from Spike Lee, the giant shark flick “The Meg” and the doggie stylings of “Dog Days.”
In the dog days of summer comes “Dog Days,” starring a cast of folks including Vanessa Hudgens, “Stranger Things’s” Finn Wolfhard and Eva Longoria brought together by their canines. Expect bastardized cover versions of pooch songs like “Walking the Dog” and “Who Let the Dogs Out?” and more easy sentimentality than you can shake a dog bone at.
Set in modern day Los Angeles the story follows a litter of characters. There’s the host of a TV morning show (Nina Dobrev), her co-host (Tone Bell), a dog rescue owner (Jon Bass) with eyes for a barista (Hudgens) who has a crush on the vet next door (Michael Cassidy). That should be enough, but there’s also a couple (Thomas Lennon and Jessica St. Clair) who leave their unruly dog in the care of her even more unruly brother (Adam Pally) while another family (Longoria and David Cross) whose family is completed by a stray. Meanwhile, in another part of town, an elderly man (Ron Cephas Jones) and his pizza delivery boy (Wolfhard) bond over the love of a pug. Eventually, everyone finds either love or a sense of purpose or both through their dogs.
“Dog Days” is so predictable it’s as if the studio forced a bot to watch hundreds of hours of rom coms and Garry Marshal movies and then sat back as the machine spit out a script based on all the data. Beat for beat it telegraphs what is coming next as though any deviation from the form will result in a case of ringworm.
On the plus side, the dogs in “Dog Days” do not speak. If they could, they might say things like, “Call my agent! What am I doing in a movie as bad as this?”
You will not be bow-wowed by “Dog Days.” Instead you may wonder, not who, but why let the dogs out?
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the Dwayne Johnson reboot of one of the most popular TV shows of all time, “Baywatch,” the continuation of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” and the travelogue “Paris Can Wait” starring Diane Lane.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, the Dwayne Johnson reboot of one of the most popular TV shows of all time, “Baywatch,” the continuation of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” and the travelogue “Paris Can Wait” starring Diane Lane.
On the surface “Baywatch,” the big screen reboot of the cheesy 1980s television show, is about beach bunnies who uncover a criminal plot that may bring with it trouble to the Baywatch lifeguards. That’s the logline, but in reality it’s actually about nostalgia, hard beach bodies and the inestimable charisma of its star (and possible presidential candidate) Dwayne Johnson.
Johnson takes over for TV lifeguard David Hasselhoff as Californian Mitch Buchannon, the gung ho leader of the elite Baywatch lifeguard squad. “Our team is the elite of the elite,” he says. “The heart and soul of the beach.” He’s a beach superstar, so beloved people curve giant sand sculptures in his honour. He keeps the waters safe but there is trouble brewing.
The Bay isn’t drawing them in like it used to and City Council has cut their funding. To stir up some publicity, and perhaps attract a few more bikini clad sunbathers, beach bigwig Captain Thorpe (Rob Huebel) hires troubled Olympian Matt Brody (Zac Efron). He’s the “Stephen Hawking of swimming” with two gold medals but he’s also a troublemaker on probation.
“That’s why we can afford him,” says Thorpe. “We got him on his community service.”
Brody butts heads with the Baywatch team—Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera), Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario), Ronnie Greenbaum (Jon Bass) and CJ Parker (Kelly Rohrbach)—but especially Buchannon. The new guy may be one of the best swimmers in the world but he’s a loner and doesn’t play well with the team. “He’s reckless and insubordinate,” says Buchannon.
Despite their differences when they aren’t rescuing people from the briny depths the team is forced to come together to uncover a nefarious plot by businesswoman Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra) to privatise the entire bay. “I’m not a Bond villain,” she coos. “Yet.”
Cue the wet and wild action.
“Baywatch” is one of the most popular TV shows of all time and it wasn’t because it was a searing examination of the human experience, tinted with dollops of wry humour or shrewdly pointed satire. It was because it featured SloMo teen dreams come to life, cleavage galore and cheesy action. The movie is a bigger budget version of the same. There’s no real stakes. We know things will get damp and dangerous for Mitch and Company but by the time the end credits roll everything will have sorted itself out and a sequel will be firmly in place. There’s plenty of action, gunfire and juggernauting jet skies but no jeopardy of any kind, just a generic crime story dressed up in a skimpy bathing suit.
Beyond the sea bound action is a crude sense of fun. The big screen “Baywatch” pokes gentle fun at its small screen sibling. “Why does she always looks like she’s running in slow motion?” asks new recruit Summer of CJ’s beach gait. “Do you see it too?” replies Ronnie. As the action bounces along the dumb and/or gross jokes begin to pile up threatening to crush the whole thing under their weight.
Johnson brings muscle and comic timing while Efron brings abs of steel and a willingness to do almost anything for a laugh. He doesn’t always hit the mark but you have to give him high marks for leaving his dignity at the door.
The supporting cast aren’t given much to do other than glam it up—in the party scenes—or strip down—in the beach scenes. Kelly Rohrbach it’s time for your (cleavage’s) close up. You get the idea. As the overweight and eager Ronnie, Bass is Josh Gadd Lite or maybe an echo of early Jack Black.
Depending on your point of view “Baywatch” is either a mindless summer diversion or a continuation of Hollywood’s exploitation of our collective nostalgia. Judge your interest level accordingly. Either way it fails to grab the raucous good times of “21 Jump Street,” another, more successful TV reboot.