Starring: Ricardo Hurtado, Brenna Yde, Jackie R. Jacobson
Director: Savage Steve Holland
Running Time: 69 mins
Malibu Rescue is an American film about a teenager who is sent to a lifeguard training camp on Malibu Beach as punishment for bad behaviour. While there, he tackles life-changing issues while coming to learn the true values of life.
Feeling like a Disney Channel Original movie throughout, Malibu Rescue is ridiculously cheesy and at moments infuriatingly simplistic. From time to time, it’s laughably bad, and actually proves ironically entertaining, but for the most part it’s an incredibly poor film.
Now, if you’re a four year-old child who wants something bright, simple and smiley, then Malibu Rescue will be entertaining enough. For anyone else, though, the film is dull and painfully plastic, relying on one-dimensional characters, terrible humour and a nonsensical story.
The problem is that despite the film’s vibrant and cheesy smiles, there’s no depth to its story – not even to a soothingly generic Disney level. Yes, it looks at teenagers beginning to understand themselves and the values of hard work, teamwork and friendship, but the film is so lazy in its storytelling all the way through.
As a result, any moments of emotional or thematic gravitas feel heavy-handed and forced, and the rest of the film is way too thin on the ground. Its screenplay is predictable down to each line of dialogue, its characters are uninteresting and painfully formulaic, and its comedy is roundly awful.
And although the film is aimed squarely at kids, that’s not always entirely apparent. Sure, it’s not a film mainly for adults, but the characters of some weird ambiguous tween age, and their behaviour doesn’t seem particularly fitting with what you normally see in kids’ films – yet still far too tame to be in any way directed at older audiences.
As a result, it’s really difficult to know how to watch or even enjoy Malibu Rescue. Its cheesy nature means it’s not a challenging watch, but it’s impossible to take it in any way seriously with such poor character depth, and it’s equally impossible to find any genuine enjoyment in the film’s humour.
With all that, there’s nothing about Malibu Rescue that’s either genuinely enjoyable or memorable. The young cast does its best, but they can’t salvage such an infuriatingly generic and consistently poor film.
It’s painfully predictable at times, and with an irritatingly smiley and bright atmosphere all the way through, Malibu Rescue is little more than cheesy, plastic rubbish. And that’s why I’m giving it a 4.9 overall.