Given his status as the world’s biggest movie star and a proven box office draw, Dwayne Johnson can turn even the most thin of concepts on paper into a major success. That’s exactly what he did with 2017’s Baywatch, which took the cult favorite and endearingly cheesy 90s favorite and refitted it as the basis for an R-rated action comedy.
However, it isn’t one of his best efforts by any stretch of the imagination, with the tone all over the place from start to finish. That’s not surprising when there are six writers credited on Baywatch, as the story veers from gross out humor and easy jokes to action-packed set pieces, including one scene that takes place on a boat and features arguably the worst CGI fire that’s ever been committed to film. The charisma of Johnson and Zac Efron just about gave it a pass with audiences, but critics were less than enamored.
The following year, Dwayne Johnson was back on much more familiar turf as the leading man of a big budget effects-driven blockbuster, with San Andreas racing to almost $475 million in theaters. It isn’t the most original disaster epic, and it offers the sort of one-dimensional characters that have become the genre’s stock in trade, but once again The Rock’s effortless charm and screen presence almost single-handedly elevates the material, although the impressive sense of scale and spectacle certainly helps.
On paper, the two couldn’t be more different, but both Baywatch and San Andreas are proving to be hugely popular with Netflix subscribers today. They each stand a great chance of cracking the Top 10 most-watched list over the weekend, with the lull between Friday and Sunday making them equally ideal for a slice of disposable entertainment, and at the moment, they’re sitting in 16th and 13th place on the Top 20 worldwide chart, respectively.