“Funny (mostly) but forgettable. A good Redbox choice.”
Rated R for language throughout, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity
Run time: 1hr. 59min.
Trailer: Click Here!
Baywatch, directed by Seth Gordon and starring Dawayne Johnson, Zac Effron, and Alexandra Daddrio is a caricature of the original 90s show and for the most part knows it. This actually works to the movies favor as it’s hard to bash a movie for being bad, when that’s the goal. It’s essentially a guilty pleasure movie. There’s a lot of laughs to be had, but ultimately, unless you’re a fan of dumb, vulgar humor, you’re best waiting for Redbox.
There are parts of this movie that are hilariously funny. There are also parts that try way too hard to push jokes that aren’t funny at all. The humor that works is almost entirely derived from the relationship between the Rock’s Mitch Buchannan and Efron’s Matt Brody. They spend the entire movie competing against each other’s “macho-ness” and these are the parts of the movie you’ll remember. While we’re on the subject, it was hard not to stare at Efron’s abs. Everyone expects Johnson’s physique at this point, but Efron looks so chiseled it almost looks CG. Seriously. That dude either spends every waking moment in the gym or is on some killer steroids…or maybe both.
I really liked Alexandra Daddario in San Andreas, but comedy doesn’t seem to be her strong suit here…that is unless she’s making jokes about her boobs; and there are plenty of those. Even then she comes across bland and not really funny, but at least it creates opportunities for her to bounce up and down in her swimsuit, which is honestly why she’s in the movie.
Kelly Rohrbach was a good pick for CJ, originally played by Pamela Anderson on the show. Rohrbach did a great job of capturing the sweet but somewhat ditzy personality of the character, and arguably had much more personality in the role than Anderson ever did. Jon Bass plays the comedy sidekick /”tech guy,” and has some funny but forgettable moments. Also, while it’s interesting to see a female villain, Priyanka Chopra’s character is as predictable as she is attractive. She’s one of the few character’s the plot tries to take seriously and it just falls flat.
The movie surprisingly slows down frequently; bogged down by trying too hard to have a plot. Baywatch’s biggest problem is that it keeps switching between dumb comedy flick and wanting to be taken seriously. When the movie stops trying and accepts itself for what it is and just has fun, is when it shines the brightest.
While the movie’s plot is extremely predictable, it’s also a typical Baywatch story; a new drug starts showing up on the beach, as well as some dead bodies and it’s up to the Baywatch team to solve the crime. Unlike the TV show though, the movie humorously asks the obvious question serval times “Shouldn’t they just call the cops instead of solving the crime themselves?” Mitch explains this away at one point by giving a big speech about dedication to the job and that if you only do the minimum, people die. This is actually a clever way for the writers to explain the exploits in both the original show and the movie.
The action is, to be expected, over the top which fits well with the style of the movie. However there is a little too much “shaky cam” at times and the CGI is pretty noticeable.
All in all, Baywatch can be a fun time if you can accept it for the mindless comedy that it is. Despite all of his humor and action, you’ll forget about it almost as soon as it ends. As I already said, this is a guilty pleasure movie at best. It’s the perfect movie to Redbox on a Thursday night, watch with a group of friends who remember the TV show, or to pull out and watch once every few years for some laughs when you don’t have anything else to watch.