Offering only the occasional chuckle sprinkled with some high tier eye candy – Baywatch is neither entirely serious or comedic as a whole. This is… exactly what you’d expect.
Baywatch follows the story of six lifeguards joining forces to take down a drug lord.
If not for the charm of Dwayne Johnson and the peculiar hilarity of Zack Efron, Baywatch would be no better than Fist Fight (2017), however, it has a few saving graces that prevented it from sinking into those inescapable depths, mainly the cast members. Dwayne Johnson plays somewhat of a public figure in the film, regaling as a leader and father figure to many of the citizens on the beach, yes he’s a tough guy with a soft spot as usual but his charisma helps keep the film afloat in some murky waters. While most of the other performances were forgettable, Priyanka Chopra offered one of the better roles playing the villain, her performance didn’t feel forced or over the top unlike Alexandra Daddario’s character, which is a shame, because she’s proven she wants to be a serious actress. Many of the jokes wash up like the fish out of water, leaving much to be desired when the story begins to pick up – there are moments where it’s clear Baywatch was attempting to be more than just a crude comedy, but those small moments are rare and only exist when Zack Efron is on screen.
With weak characters and even sloppier jokes, this film needed something to make it stand out, sadly the overall story had just as many problems – as it constantly poked fun at the old show while legitimately attempting to mimic its plot. It’s hard to know why director Seth Gordon was trying to make a self-aware ridiculous film and appease older fans by mimicking the series. It feels as though it would have been better if he adapted his own version and raised the R-Rating to make the film go “all out”. From the stereotypical romances, to the shallow characters, this film had a vast ocean of content to adapt from, but instead works on satisfying every trope the TV series created, ultimately struggling to be its own thing. The visual effects were outrageously bad as well, that had to be said.
If you want to see some eye candy, the film won’t deny you any of that – but don’t expect to have a constant flow of laughs, even from a packed cinema. Baywatch is the supreme example of a remake which never needed to happen, but it did, and it was bad, surprise surprise!