By Rick Davis
This weekend, you only have to go as far as the movie theatre to spend some time at the ocean.
With a worldwide box office of $3.7 billion for the first four films, it was to be expected that there would be a fifth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean. Dead Men Tell No Tales reunites Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly and brings in Javier Bardem. Bardem plays Captain Armando Salazar, an old nemesis of Captain Jack Sparrow who has escaped from the Devil’s Triangle intent on killing every pirate at sea, especially Captain Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with a brilliant and beautiful astronomer named Carina (Kaya Scodelario, The Maze Runner) and Henry (Brenton Thwaites, The Giver), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of his pitifully and small shabby ship called the Dying Gull, Jack must get over his recent spate of ill fortune and save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced. This outing is so big it needed two directors, the team of Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, the acclaimed co-directors of the Academy Award-nominated Kon-Tiki. They also directed the very under-appreciated comedy-western Bandidas, starring Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz.
Baywatch was one of the most watched TV shows in the world, even though it was cancelled by NBC after its first season in 1990. After that, it did another 10 seasons in syndication and made the likes of David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Erika Eleniak, Nicole Eggert, Yasmine Bleeth and Carmen Electra household names. And did you know that Khal Drogo/Aquaman Jason Momoa got his start on the last two seasons? Both cheesy and scintillating at the same time, the TV series was the ultimate guilty pleasure for those who watched it and it was only a matter of time before it got the big-screen treatment, making it into an R-rated (14A in B.C.) comedy that plays up on the campiness its small-screen predecessor.
Dwayne Johnson plays the Hasselhoff character Mitch Buchannon, the gung-ho leader of the Baywatch lifeguard squad including new recruit Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a washed-up pro athlete brought in as a PR move to help improve the image of the organization. The two butt heads but must learn to work together to stop a criminal mastermind’s drug trafficking operation before it destroys their idyllic beach. Also starring Priyanka Chopra (TV’s Quantico), Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson & the Olympians and co-starred with Johnson in San Andreas), Sports Illustrated model Kelly Rohrbach and Ilfenesh Hadera (TV’s Billions), the movie, like the TV series, has a cast that looks good running in slow motion (I know that is crass, but they play it up in the movie). It is directed by Seth Gordon, best known for Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief.