HOLLYWOOD—Sometimes there is a reason certain TV shows have yet to hit the big screen. In this case, “Baywatch” is a movie that should have NEVER made its arrival to theaters. There is a number of problems with this movie, however, let’s start off with perhaps the most obvious one: its rated-R! Some of you might be complaining, what’s the big deal? This is probably one of the reasons the flick failed to generate the type of revenue it could have generated if it was PG-13. I mean you limited half the audience with that rating alone.
Next, the flick pinpoints itself as a comedy, and not just a few laughs here and there, but vile, over-the-top and sometimes just not funny laughs to begin with. This is where we dive into the narrative of this beach romp that falls flat. “Baywatch” stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Lt. Mitch Buchannon, the man behind an elite team of lifeguards of Baywatch who protect the residents of Emerald Bay.
Mitch and his comrades which include Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and C.J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach), are on the hunt for some new recruits, which places the scope on Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) and Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a former Olympian who has fallen from grace. Now, let’s be clear the premise of “Baywatch” is quite hilarious, but as the movie progresses its continuation to take jabs at itself to ‘wink at the audience’ start to become stale.
The plot is quite convoluted to say the least. Lifeguards, who consider themselves cops to a degree, while actually duking it out with cops is funny considering the TV show utilized that same motif. You’re a lifeguard; your goal is to save people in the water, not to solve crimes; that’s why we have police officers.
Now when it comes to comedy, we have seen both Johnson and Efron prove they can be funny; Johnson alongside Kevin Hart in “Central Intelligence” and Efron alongside Seth Rogen in “Neighbors.” That is the problem here, Johnson and Efron are not known to be comedians at heart, so pairing them up and hoping the punchline and shenanigans pay off, is a miss. Someone with serious comedic chops should have been part of this cast to balance things out and let Efron and Johnson do what they do best, take of their shirts and leave the ladies in the audience ogling for more eye candy.
Priyanka Chopra attempts to do her best to portray a villain as Victoria Leeds, the owner of an elite club that is looking to build an empire at any cost, even murder. I think the climax of the flick would have worked even better if Chopra was actually going toe-to-toe with another female versus the two male leads.
I have witnessed some bad flicks already in the year 2017, and unfortunately I have to place “Baywatch” in that list as well. If you are entering the theater looking to be entertained or to laugh, you’ll be greatly disappointed. You’re better off catching re-runs of the series on the small than wasting money on this adaptation.