Baywatch Review

Hollywood has been obsessed with turning classic TV shows into big screen adaptations. Though it’s been happening decades before, most of the remakes they’re doing now are embarking the comedy side of the spectrum. But Baywatch pretty much as one job and one job only: Be better than CHiPs. So my question after leaving was this, “How did it all come down very quickly?”

Lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) is the leader of the Baywatch. A new recruit Matt Brody (Zac Efron) is forced to be a part of the Baywatch. But as a dead body turns up on the beach, they must uncover a criminal plot that could threaten the future of the bay.

Even though I never watched the original ‘90s television show that starred David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson, it’s clear that nobody watched it for the story. They watched and gain high ratings about the hot girls in lifeguard outfits running in slo-mo. But I was excited to check this out because the trailers looked funny enough and I was hoping this could be a raunchy R-rated comedy that can work with its cheesy source material. Also, I knew that this was gonna be self-aware, making it in a 21 Jump Street kind of funny. But they forgot to include that as Baywatch turned into a lazy, dumb comedy.

Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Zac Efron, Ilfenesh Hadera, Jon Bass, and Kelly Rohrbach in Baywatch (2017)

It makes me angry when they try to pull an old TV show in the forefront to new people and make it edgy. Maybe some people will enjoy this and some won’t. The people in the auditorium were laughing constantly. For me, almost the entire time I had a disinterested face when a bad joke is said.

Johnson as Mitch Buchannon is the film’s bright spot. He gave a lot of charisma into this role. While nothing he said made me laugh, he kept me interested because he’s the freakin’ Rock. I love him. Anytime when he’s in a not so good movie like Pain & Gain or Hercules, he’s always the best part. Both he and Efron as Matt Brody did work well together. The both of them have that charisma that’s a needed boost. Efron was a bit unlikable in the middle but gave a grounded performance later on. He just needs to be in better comedies as it worked in the Neighbors franchise and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. But his abs, though. The both of them weren’t given anything to work with.

For the women, they have Johnson and Efron. But for the men, there are some attractive ladies guarding the watch as well as you got Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach and Ilfenesh Hadera to keep us company.

Director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) didn’t handle the action well enough as well as the frustrating script by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift. Really nothing made this watchable as it showcased with its terrible directing and scattershot screenplay filled with pointless comedy. I was very disappointed with the action scenes as they didn’t have that flair as it involved some horrible green screen and unfinished CGI that involves a yacht on fire that’s could be considered as hilariously bad.

You know what a real thing that should be mentioned is that they repeat the same problem that they are lifeguards not cops as the investigate drugs and bodies on the beach. That was a gag in here that made sense. At least they know it’s dumb because I figured they tackled those situations in the show.

Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), beautiful as she is, was kind of wasted as the villain because she didn’t get to do much, to be honest. Which is a shame because I like her as an actress but she didn’t do anything threatening until the third act.

The biggest shame of all in Baywatch is put upon the jokes. None of all the jokes made me smile at all, which it should be blamed on the writing. Most of the time, the humor goes for that crude matter that resonates with everything that makes R-rated movies not that raunchy. Nothing was put into effort throughout this. Whenever a comedy has a running joke that lasts more than two minutes, it’s stopped being funny a long time ago. For example, Mitch never calls Brody by his name. Instead, he just calls him boy band names. He even called him High School Musical at one point. That’s a reference I got so quickly I rolled my eyes. Jon Bass as Ronnie may seem like a funny actor in anything else, but he was given some dumb moments of comedy here. Sometimes it felt like I was watching Vacation all over again.

As much credit I can give to Johnson and Efron’s charisma, there isn’t anything else to Baywatch as it was trying too hard to be what it wants it to be. Unfortunately, this belongs with The Dukes of Hazzard, CHiPs, and Bewitched as failed attempts to make audiences laugh. Just wait for the announcement that a sequel’s getting made because bad movies get a follow-up.

Honestly, there’s more enjoyment in Simple Plan’s music video for I Don’t Wanna Go to Bed than this.

Baywatch might be self-aware and clever based on its television counterpart, but this adaptation is unfunny and inconsistent.

Grade: D

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