This review contains no spoilers
It hurts to laugh on the jokes, affirming our presumption on how the duet of Dwayne Johnson (F8, Jumanji) and Zac Efron (The Neighbors, Paper Boy) would pull off pranks in the movie as they don’t look convincing on the trailer. Never easy to tell the truth but it’s among the worst buddyship in which one keeps calling another every sweet, good-looking male figure in this universe (from a Jonas Brother to Barbie’s Ken) and another responds effortlessly like an underdog or victim of bullying.
If Baywatch was a pure comedy, both might stand a chance, raising smile after smile on our face. Unfortunately, Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief) is trying to hard to alter the TV’s light drama into a serious crime plot yet injects a superfluous R-rated comedy. It turns out that many scenes don’t get along as the transition doesn’t fall on a particular vibe. Thus, the mixed-ups are confusing and often cause many scenes end up meaninglessly, despite the goal to aim justice is not that cloudy.
The team members are for the first time introduced, on a movie, particularly during their first encounter as mentors and trainees. The cocksure Olympic winner, Matt Brody (Efron), thinks his golden ticket will win him a VIP position in Baywatch. Dwayne Johnson plays a Zeus god, Mitch Buchannon, along with the red-suited babes; the articulate Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and voluptuous C.J Parker (Kelly Rohrbach), who won’t let anyone slip in without striving.
For Matt, the phase of training is never easy. He’s fast and famous in the pool yet so selfish and reckless at the beach, making himself hardly an asset to the team. He even hardly builds funny but always awkward situation, neither to soften Mitch’s hard blow nor to impress his beach crush, Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario). Another bad news, Matt is a complete stiff when things go out of their tracks by means he’s way too idealistic, a sort of Mr. Perfect who keeps infuriating Mitch and bringing discomfort to the whole team.
Technic-wise, Matt is right. Baywatch is a lifeguard team and solving crime is never listed as a type of watery danger. But the plot won’t proceed if no one plays a mischief. Ain’t an ordinary team, Mitch cs believe that police officers can’t sort things quick and right especially when more and more flakka is found randomly around the beach without any hint of source. The bay is no longer safe and Baywatch feels responsible for this.
There’s a little 21 Jump Street vibe when Mitch cs play both lifeguards and sea cops, chasing the crime syndicate led by the devilish Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra) into the rock bottom and boat party. And as the lifeguard life has been turned into crime scene, there’s no turning back but to awake Matt from his naivity and turns the team solid as the premise tells. At least, this goal avoids Baywatch from a total wreckage.
Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, Priyanka Chopra, Jon Bass, David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson
Duration: 116 mins