If you think 'Malibu Rescue' is just another teen comedy about a bunch of ragtag school children put together in a situation where they have to work towards a common goal, you are right. The latest teen comedy from Netflix tells the story of Tyler (Ricardo Hurtado) and his friends Gina ( Breanna Yde), Dylan (Jacobson), Eric (Alkoya Brunson ), and Lizzie (Abby Donnelly) as aspiring lifeguards at Malibu Beach.
They must spend the summer training if they want to pass the junior rescue training programme following which they will become junior lifeguards at Malibu Beach. Together they make the Flounders, a group made up of honest misfits trying to find their place in the large Malibu Beach.
Ricardo's Tyler is a handsome, smart, know-it-all, who has clear intentions and never wants to mess things up, but always manages to find himself in a puddle. He has never even thought of becoming a lifeguard and only happens to be at such a programme because his stepfather (played by Jeff Meacham) believes it will discipline him.
Since he is always worried that his stepfather thinks of him as a "screw-up", he ends up at the programme. At first, he even tries to get himself kicked out from the programme but comes around following an epiphany that, not surprisingly, involves his group.
On the other hand, there is Gina who is a strong, confident athlete at the training programme with one mission - to get in. She has trained all her life for this and won't let anyone get in the way. Talking of stereotypes, a predictable trait in Gina is that she is afraid to show her vulnerabilities to the group at first, but come the climax of the film, and the friends have that discussion on a lifeboat in the middle of the competition they had worked all along for.
Lizzie is intelligent and always on top of everything first-aid, while Eric is that happy-go-lucky, supportive friend who can make any bad day appear better by just being by your side. The group is from The Valley and are looked down on for even aspiring to be lifeguards at Malibu Beach.
As is revealed early into the film, they are part of an inclusion policy practised by the mayor of the town. The real challenge for the group is when they come face to face with their competitors - who are backed by the head coach, who doesn't want kids from The Valley at his beach and will do anything to not let the Flounders pass the training programme.
If we were to put it bluntly, 'Malibu Rescue' doesn't go anywhere. The trailer pretty much tells the entire story in two minutes. In addition to this, the storyline is far from unique considering how the smallest of elements are recycled from any other Disney and/or Nickelodeon film or show.
From characteristics of the lead characters and their backstories to even the gags in between and the events leading up to the climax, there is nothing you haven't watched in another teen comedy show or film.
The Netflix film sets the story in motion for 'Malibu Rescue: The Series', which will focus on the adventures of the group at the beach. Considering that, perhaps the storyline will be picked up in the upcoming series and the characters will see more development. But until then, 'Malibu Rescue' is a recycled product that fails to excite us.
The movie is set to premiere May 13, while the 8-episode season of the 'Malibu Rescue: The Series' will be available for streaming on June 3.
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