Movie Review – Baywatch (2017, Second Opinion)

Cue the slow motion running, hair flowing, muscles glistening, the Baywatch crew are back transformed from the retro television series to the big screen unafraid to lovingly send itself up while pushing boundaries of good taste.

The cult show was a still a lark while trying to take itself seriously as lifeguards sporting brief red bathers solved mysteries like seasoned detectives in between jumping diving or skimming across the sand into the ocean to save drowning swimmers.

The plot such as it is, follows the inclusion of new recruit Matt Brody (Zac Efron) disgraced former Olympian clashing with the entire beach crew most notably devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (The Rock) who has no problem tearing his ultra ego down on a whim or playing practical jokes in the direction of this self admiring athlete.

Murders leading to criminal activity and drug running around their beloved bay threatens peace around the bay so the team in red decide to take justice on themselves. Unfortunately, the illicit stuff has more substance to the plot, filmmakers have decided to focus on gross out adults only comedy and high flying action water stunts. Some may compare this adaptation to more the successful ’21 Jump Street’ films.

Fans of the original series will delight at the appearance of cast members Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff in extended cameos.

Awesome looks throughout the entire ensemble is not a problem, casting directors hit the jackpot with model worthy actors not having to act too much, just look good.

There is no denying comic timing of Efron and his distinguished over-sized co-star The Rock, both have a decent rapport from years of doing these same characters just in different movies, nothing new to see here.

In fact, by the look of jump cuts from quick for editing, many off the cuff jokes must have prevailed as cameras rolled.

As appropriately named Summer Quinn, the starlet with illuminating eyes Alexandra Daddario (San Andreas, True Detective) shows further off kilter physical ability while maintaining a sense of humour and above average acting prowess destined to break out into more dramatic roles in a long career.

Soon to be seen in another remake, Flatliners, the minor role of Charlotte McKinney as Julia is also decisive talent brimming beyond the curvy eye candy.

Entertaining as it may be, enjoyable to a point of crudeness not afraid to cross the line is your thing, if producers hoped Baywatch was the start of a long running movie franchise, they are wrong.

Shane A.Bassett | Movie Analyst

Comedy, Action | USA, 2017 | 15| 29th May 2017 (UK) | Paramount Pictures | Dir.Seth Gordon | Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach