Review by Dustin Heller
Baywatch is a new action-comedy starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron based on the iconic television show from the 90s. The movie is directed by Seth Gordon, who has quite a bit of experience in the comedy realm having directed such titles as Horrible Bosses, Four Christmases and Identity Thief. Co-starring alongside the two leads are Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Ilfenesh Hadera, Priyanka Chopra and a couple of surprise cameos. Baywatch is rated R by the MPAA for language throughout, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity.
Baywatch lifeguard Lt. Mitch Buchannon keeps his beach safe and crime-free by running a tight ship and stepping outside the lines of typical lifeguard duties when necessary. Three spots have opened up on the Baywatch team and one of the recruits is troubled Olympic two-time gold medalist Matt Brody.
Mitch and Brody butt heads right out of the gate as Brody likes to do things on his own and Mitch knows the only way to success is through teamwork. When some drugs and a dead body wash up onto the shore, the Baywatch team decides to go above the law and conduct its own investigation. Things go awry when Mitch acts selfishly and the entire unit is put in jeopardy when Mitch is fired as lieutenant. Now, more than ever, the Baywatch crew will have to work together to stop the mastermind behind these crimes and to help Mitch restore his reputation and reclaim his post as the head of Baywatch.
Baywatch is the definition of lazy filmmaking and comes across as nothing more than a cash grab for the studio. You couldn’t convince me otherwise that Baywatch was solely made due to the success of the 21 Jump Street movies. They are both adaptations from popular television shows, both have two bankable stars, and both push the envelope to get their R rating.
Not only does Baywatch have two extremely famous male leads, but it allows them to run around shirtless which the studio knows will sell tickets. While they’re at it, why not surround them with beautiful bikini-clad women to get some of the men into the theater as well? The entire premise is lazy and I haven’t even gotten to the actual film yet.
One of the biggest and most obvious issues with the movie is that it doesn’t know what it is–a comedy or an action movie? The so-called comedy is so obvious and mindless that it was much more annoying than funny. Not to mention they use the same gags more than once which is a big no-no. I believe there was only one scene in the entire movie where I even cracked a smile, let alone laughed.
When it’s not trying to be funny, the movie attempts to be an action flick, which doesn’t work at all and looks like something you’d see in a made-for-tv movie. More than anything, Baywatch needed to find its identity and get some actual creativity behind it, but here we are.
Hopefully this movie comes and goes without much fanfare, but I’m afraid I’ll be writing about Baywatch 2 sooner rather than later. I do know that personally I’ll never be re-visiting this Baywatch again.
Baywatch opens in theaters on Thursday, May 25