Directed by: Seth Gordon
Written by: Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Damian Shannon, and Mark Swift
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass
Okay! Summer is just around the corner so bring on the season’s blockbusters. But before those come out, we have Baywatch. I’ll preface this review by saying that I am a movie fan and so even when a movie is bad, it’s never all bad. That being said, ‘Baywatch’ is still a decent “bad movie.” I would also say that I’ll keep my review spoiler free, but unless you are expecting an awesome action film, then it’s hard to spoil this one at all. There is action, there are explosions, there is comedy and some fun to be had, sure. But overall, I think this is one you may want to hold off on seeing until it hits Netflix or Redbox. The cast ais all great at their parts and the movie does a fine job of never taking itself too seriously which was its main saving grace. No matter the role, Dwayne Johnson always seems to have fun on camera and that oozes through the screen making it nearly impossible to hate any movie in which he appears. That holds true here as he takes on the role of Mitch Buchannon (originally played by David Hasselhoff in the TV series) who is the lead lifeguard of Baywatch and maybe takes his role as the bay’s protector a little too seriously.
Joining him are Ilfenesh Hadera as Stephanie Holden (played by Alexandra Paul on the series for those keeping track at home), who is sadly underutilized in the film, and Kelly Rohrbach as CJ Parker (played by Pamela Anderson in the series). They have 3 openings for new trainees on the team and one of those new trainees is disgraced Olympic Swimming star, Matt Brody. Zac Effron channels his inner douche to a tee as he takes on this role and his interactions with Dwayne Johnson’s character provide equal parts comical and “buddy cop”-esque. Several laughs also come from Jon Bass‘s character of Ronnie Greenbaum as the tech kid with gumption and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II‘s portrayal of Police Sgt. Ellerbee who continually has to remind the gang that they aren’t actual law enforcement agents. Rounding out the cast is Priyanka Chopra who you can tell is doing her best to have fun with her role as an over-the-top and not very well written villain looking to buy up all of the property on the bay and start selling drugs out of her lavish club.
All of that being said, the overall movie is predictable yet still fun. The jokes along with the copious amounts of skin (but hey… it’s Baywatch) and use of the “F-bomb” (I’m no prude, but it’s needlessly overused) seem mostly designed to be appreciated by the age 12 – 24 male audience but that’s not to say it isn’t a fun movie to watch. For those who enjoyed the TV series, there are some enjoyable cameos by both “The Hoff” and Pamela Anderson as well as some clever nods to the show. But if you’re looking for a movie to see this weekend, I’d recommend holding off on this one unless you’ve already seen everything else currently in theaters.