To the movie's credit, the taint gag (kinda) tries to speak to the main relationship that drives the movie. Efron's character, Matt Brody, a new recruit to Mitch's team, is the type of guy who isn't a team player, who doesn't believe he should be helping his comrades bust a drug ring. (That's police work, isn't it?) Mitch shows Brody tough love till the latter changes. The taint investigation is just one step in the journey to maturity.
While that's mostly it on the nudity front, if your mind is still reeling from the wait-did-they-really-do-that factor of the taint prank, you might have forgotten about the other dick set piece, when Ronnie, played by Jon Bass, gets his junk stuck in a chair for what feels like 10 minutes. (Yeah, that happened too, another example of the movie going for gratuitous "fun.") The focus lent to these extended genital bits might make you question America's prudish relationship with nudity in media. For here's a movie that wants to revamp its source material by being self-aware, dumb, funny, and full of action... but why does it feel so old hat to see Priyanka Chopra's villainous character blown to bits and so extraordinary when there's a scene devoted to taint?
"To me, [male nudity is] just funny," British director Jim Hosking said last year, while promoting his movie The Greasy Strangler, a surreal cult favorite that prominently features penises. "In America, it seems to be a bigger issue to have male nudity, whether it's genuine or not. Whereas, I saw Deadpool the other day with my son, and I found the violence in that really quite strong. I could not understand why nobody talks about the violence in films -- sorry, I'm proselytizing now -- but it's strange to me that it's such a big deal that in our film there's some dicks."
In an interview with TODAY, Efron said Johnson wanted to "turn [Baywatch] on its ear" and "make it more relevant to today's audience." Early critics have yet to be convinced -- what did you think about the new take on Emerald Bay? Sound off in the comments.