Netflixable? “Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave”


Oh to be say, 13 and trapped indoors with AC and Netflix during a long, hot pandemic summer.

That’s your target audience for “Malibu Rescue,” the TV series, the (now two) movies from Savage Steve Holland, who got his start making teen-friendly entertainment in the ’80s. Who remembers “Better Off Dead” and “One Crazy Summer?” Just me?

This franchise is a cheerfully cheesy and harmless “back to the beach” comedy, with goofy-flirty “Junior Rescue” teens mimicking “Baywatch” — in their dreams.

The scripts aren’t much, the cast is set, so Savage Steve and his minions can crank this stuff out — episodes and (short) movie-length features — in bulk. Which they do. “Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave” arrives less than a year after “Malibu Rescue” the movie and the series first appeared.

The new movie finds our tanned, toothy team from Tower Two facing a “shut the program down” moment. That comes as they’re doing support work for a Beach Master Challenge obstacle course with the world’s elite lifeguards competing for the top prize.

SOMEbody intentionally serves the obnoxious four-time champs, Team USA, tainted cole slaw. (Port-a-Potty humor) Because maybe SOMEbody didn’t like the “winning streak” joke the jerk (JT Neal) with Team USA taunted him with.

“The longest streak you’ve ever had was in your SHORTS!”

SOMEbody has to take Team USA’s place — “How hard can it be?”

It’s a good thing SOMEbody — Gina (Breanna Yde) is the daughter of a drill sergeant. Welcome to “Hell” you “MAGGOTS.”

“She’s ‘Mom’ mad. That’s the maddest you can be.”

Eric (Alkoya Brunson) is Urkeling all over Lizzie (Abby Donnelly). Blonde goddess Dylan (Jackie R. Jacobson) is so obsessed with Tyler (Ricardo Hurtado) it’s interfering with uh, grammar.

“I don’t have TYLER for this right now!”

But whenever the chips are down, at least they can count on surfer dude/bus-driver Vooch (Jeremy Howard) in a pinch, or Tyler’s punk stepsister Sasha (Ella Gross) for a dirty deed or two aimed at their arch rivals, the slang-slinging trash-talking Team Oz (Australia).

Too right.


This is generic tween-to-teen TV junk food, harmless enough and hammed up by the cast so that even the slowest kid will get the jokes. Holland knows how the formula works and finds little laughs in the fumbled flirting.

And he cast amusing people in some of the adult roles, which makes it pass the time easily. Carly Hughes vamps the part of the summer school art teacher, fooled into thinking a blow-up dummy animated by squirrel power is one of the junior rescuers who is supposed to be in her class. Howard, a “Breaking Bad” veteran, gets laughs out of his “Duuuuuuude” speak, and from a cute gag where he narrates Tyler’s romantic thoughts about Dylan as Tyler gawks at her across the parking lot.

Parental viewers will pick up on who the janitor is in that summer school running gag. Why, it’s Curtis Armstrong from “Risky Business,” “Revenge of the Nerds” and, yes — “Better Off Dead.”


MPAA Rating: unrated, toilet humor

Cast: Breanna Yde, Richard Hurtado, Jackie R. Jacobson Alkoya Brunson, Abby Donnelly,  Jeremy Howard and Curtis Armstrong

Credits: Directed by Savage Steve Holland, script by Jeff Elinoff and Scott Thomas, based on the TV series. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:11

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