“Baywatch” stars Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Ilfenesh Hadera, and Priyanka Chopra. Released on May 25, 2017, the film has a group of lifeguards trying to save the Huntley Club from a businesswoman.
The film is directed by Seth Gordon, who also directed films such as The King of Kong, Four Christmases, Horrible Bosses, and Identity Thief. It is based on the 1989 television show of the same name created by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz, and Gregory J. Bonann. The R-rated TV-to-film trend continues this weekend with the big-screen adaptation of one of the most watched television shows of all time (even though it was canceled after just one season). It’s pretty obvious that my only reason of seeing this was Dwayne Johnson. I’m telling you, this dude’s everywhere, and he’s got a few more upcoming films to get to before all is said and done. Now teaming up with former High School Musical star, Zac Efron, does The Rock have what it takes to fill in the shoes of David Hasselhoff’s character?
The source material focuses on a bunch of lifeguards who are tasked to keep their beach safe from danger, whether it’s shark attacks, people drowning, or murderers. Because you know, you got to have murderers or serial killers to make your shows engaging. This is basically what the film is going for while also attempting to recreate the formula that made the 21 Jump Street films a complete success. While the final results of the latter weren’t as hot as the female lifeguards onscreen, I did manage to enjoy each and every minute of it, and yes, that includes the female lifeguards and Johnson’s huge muscles. Dwayne Johnson was once again a blast to watch as Mitch Buchannon, the leader of the lifeguard group. If you’re a fan of Johnson, then you’ll like him in this. This film proves that he’s still got the looks and the charm to lure in his audience. Zac Efron continues his trend of R-rated material as he portrays Matt Brody, a former Olympian who has to learn the importance of teamwork in order to help Mitch and his gang solve the mystery. I like Zac Efron in some of his movies, and I thought he did a nice job with this one. The chemistry between the two main actors was one of the reasons why the film stayed afloat for me. It’s not as hilarious as the Dwayne Johnson/Kevin Hart duo in Central Intelligence, but it had its good moments. Like 21 Jump Street and CHiPs, this TV-to-film adaptation utilizes plenty of R-rated humor, which includes a lot of cursing, sex jokes, and a depiction of a dead guy’s penis. I’m not kidding, they actually showed a dead guy’s wiener. The humor in this film ranged from pretty darn hilarious to just plain dumb and forced. It’s quite debatable depending on your sense of humor. If you like laughing at the dumb humor, then this film has plenty of that. If not, then why the heck are you planning on seeing this film to begin with? The overall story offers nothing but predictable and cliched plot points. I already knew what was going to happen at the end, but the journey of getting to that point managed to have a few good moments to keep me entertained. It also doesn’t help when they have a cheesy antagonist in the form of Priyanka Chopra. Seth Gordon has his share of making R-rated comedies, but his attempt at blending in the comedy with a smart-written story still needs some adjustments if he’s going to prevent his directorial business from sinking.
Overall, the big-screen adaptation of “Baywatch” is what you expected it to be: a film that has muscle-bound dudes, sexy lifeguard chicks, and a lot of R-rated jokes. With its solid chemistry between the two main actors and its funny, yet crude and dumb, sense of humor, the film is pretty enjoyable from beginning to end despite its cliched and predictable storyline and Seth Gordon’s direction. It doesn’t reach the same heights as 21 Jump Street, but at least I liked this one more than CHiPs. Like I said before, this film will depend on your sense of humor. If you like to watch dumb comedies, then I think you’ll enjoy this one as much as I did, or if you’re seeing it just for the lifeguard chicks and a muscle-bound Dwayne Johnson, this film has plenty of that.