REVIEW: Baywatch (2017)

Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a quick review of Baywatch – Directed by Seth Gordon.

Baywatch is a comedy film based on the series of the same name. It takes place in Emerald Bay, Florida, where Lt. Mitch Bucannon (played by Dwayne Johnson) is the head of the team of lifeguards known as the ‘Baywatch’ division.

After the year’s session of tryouts ends, they bring in Summer Quinn (played by Alexandra Daddario), the best candidate for the job; Ronnie (played by Jon Bass), who has a crush on C. J. Parker (played by Kelly Rohrbach); and Matt Brody (played by Zac Efron), an Olympic swimmer.

One day, Mitch discovers a pouch of drugs wash up on shore and he suspects that Victoria Leeds (played by Priyanka Chopra), a businesswoman, is to blame for the sudden appearance of drugs in Emerald Bay. Soon the team is on the case, much to the annoyance of Captain Thorpe (played by Rob Huebel).

After Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street were both critically praised and financially successful, other Hollywood studios have been looking enviously at those films and have been actively searching for their own Jump Street-like franchise.

Baywatch is Paramount Pictures’ attempt at cashing in on the success found in the tongue-in-cheek style humor of the Jump Street-comedies. Those films featured a male duo – Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill – and Paramount smartly looked to Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson to be the male leads for what they hoped would be a new series of films.

I really didn’t like Baywatch, even though I actually like most of the actors in the cast. I especially like Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, who both do their best to get something out of this film, but I also want to see Alexandra Daddario in bigger and better roles. Ultimately, though, the entire cast is wasted in a colossal misstep that certainly tries hard to get the humor of the Jump Street-films, but fails in doing so. All of these actors and actresses deserve better.

It’s not a funny film, and I had a tough time really engaging with it at all. I did laugh once or twice (there is a reference to High School Musical in here that I really enjoyed), but this film pretty much just includes a ton of dumb and crude humor that fell flat, for me.

Baywatch is a dumb, crude, and overlong comedy that is a slog to sit through. The film manages to waste the entire cast, which includes many actors and actresses that I want to see do well in other films. Baywatch definitely had some tongue-in-cheek humor and TV-star cameos, but, somewhere along the way, it seems like they forgot to actually make a good movie.

4.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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