Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave is a sequel to Malibu Rescue that takes place one year after the events in the first film. The Flounders are back at Tower 2, meaning all of the main characters have returned and the same actors reprise their roles. They face new challenges as a rival group, Team USA, arrives at Malibu Beach for the International Junior Rescue Championships.
Like the first film, the Flounders team members are struggling with their own problems. Also, thanks to Tyler's old trick of giving the rival team severe food poisoning, the Junior Rescue program is in danger of shutting down at the end of the year.
The events in this sequel focus on the International Junior Rescue Championships, as all of the Flounders members face training for the upcoming competition. The team agrees that they have to win the competition in order for the Junior Rescue program to not be shut down. As they train for the championships, the Flounders' own problems get the better of them as they conflict with each other about things that went wrong during the training sessions. They end up splitting up.
The way the Flounders split up after facing conflict with one another shows viewers the real struggles of working as a team. Each member has his or her own problems that conflict with those of other team members, which leads to arguments. In addition, the members' weaknesses worsen after their arguments.
At the end of Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave, the Flounders reunite on the day of the competition and make amends for the arguments they had during the training sessions. The way the team members reconcile shows viewers that working out differences is the key to success.
Like in the first film, Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave does not feature much representation, as most of the characters are white. However, there are several girls throughout the film and the occasional person of color.