I heard it would terrible. I read it would be humourless. I felt it could be passable. What I saw is a mixture of that; disappointment and confusion. Once again a re-hashing of a TV show our parents watched has been turned into a modern movie in Baywatch, but, opposed to the runaway hit that was 21 Jump Street, this film is an example of what happens when your try-hard self-referential cash grab is blatant and overall, kind of sad.
Baywatch is the story of a bunch of lifeguards who spend a lot less time actually watching the bay then they should. The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson is Mitch Buchannan, boss of the beach who has a penchant for doing whatever the hell he wants. When Former Olympic Champion Matt Brodie (Zac Efron) arrives on the beach unwanted and undisciplined we cue the buddy cop comedy duo that nobody asked for, as the two have a power-struggle but eventually learn to work together to eliminate a much larger threat – and no, it’s not keeping stray swimmers between the flags, it’s much more cinematic than that.
The general flow is that of a less cool Bad Boys 2, even down to the morgue rip-off scene; there’s a drug syndicate, two hapless investigators and we see the shenanigans that then ensue. Probably the biggest problem with this is that almost none of these scenes pay off, either due to bad writing, bad acting or really bad CGI (computer-generated imagery).
Sure, the lead cast have good chemistry and the ancillary characters featuring Alexandra Daddario and Jon Bass do well in their comradery, but it just feels pointless in what is yet another movie about a ‘crew’ or ‘family’ working together for something bigger than themselves, the idea of working as a team. Although, most of the time I’m thinking, who is watching the beach?!
What is a generally entertaining movie in the simplest sense is irrevocably soured by the terrible writing. The jokes are executed so poorly at times that I honestly couldn’t tell if they were taking the mickey or not, laughing at me as they take my $20 for a cinema ticket in between gags about genitals.
Beyond this, the sheer gaps in the plot are staggering, some of the decisions made by the characters are bewildering, their motivations make no sense, some threads are set up and never pay-off, other tangents you can see coming three scenes earlier and they have no impact when they land.
Nitpicky things like the opening credits saying David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson will cameo – why not make that a surprise? Why do you jump cut at crucial moments, like how does Mitch escape the burning yacht early in the movie? It just edits and suddenly the scene is over? Again, who is watching the beach during their misadventures?
I could rant for pages…
Got to take a deep breath here on this one. The soundtrack is pretty cool I guess…
Anyway, ’tis a popcorn movie, if you’re expecting more, it’s your own fault.