Like all good comedies, Baywatch comes across as clumsy, disordered yet not entirely without charm. Serious minded cinema-goers need not apply. Seth Gordon’s picture serves up a spicier alternative than the original series, circa 1989-2001. Above all, those slow motion shots of lifeguard babes in red still tantalize. Meanwhile, everyone’s favourite hulk Dwayne Johnson spins silly one-liners in a disarming style.
On the bay, murder and drugs indicate a plot by nefarious forces. For lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) allowing gold medallist Matt Brody (Zac Efron) onto his team proves secondary. The latter believes his place on the beach to be a no-brainer. Well, Mitch puts him through his paces soon enough. Meanwhile, exotic owner Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra) proves enticing in more ways than one.
Prior to viewing, I read Stephanie Zacharek's take which prompted me on how best to process Baywatch. Essentially, if you’re too straight-faced then it’s pointless even starting. If like us you can accept this guilty pleasure at face value, there’s replay value and more. Actually, it’s nice to see Johnson sharing more screen time with his San Andreas co-star Alexandra Daddario. They work well together.
Incidentally, Peter S. Elliot’s excitement from the cutting room proves infectious because all the jokes, even minor ones, skip rather than fall. Pacing is a must when massive egos rub against fiery situations and ever present eye candy. As such, Baywatch keeps its head above water, never fearful of being consumed by Bruce the Shark.
Plus, Johnson delivers a speech near the end that’s a strong candidate for favourite movie moment of 2017. It’s a treat!
(Released by Paramount Pictures and rated “R” by MPAA.)