Baywatch might earn its r-rating but doesn’t do anything fun with it aside from the same boring crude jokes.
Director: Seth Gordon
Summary: Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon butts heads with a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.
As previously mentioned in the Snatched review the idea that R-rated comedies making money is something of a new thing that Hollywood is very much taking advantage of. The idea of a reboot of something from the 1980’s is also common place so no one should be surprised about a reboot of Baywatch. The cast also looked very promising with some of the better names in comedy coming out including guys like Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. The trailers seemed to indicate a raunchier version of the television show but that was ultimately not what we got. Instead we got a movie that decided to focus on the same dick jokes and crude humor that we see in every r-rated comedy. There wasn’t anything unique here. For a movie that was marketing itself on the bodies of its female cast there wasn’t any nudity to speak of. There was one penis and not from anyone in the main cast. It was, for lack of a better metaphor, limp.
It also took itself strangely seriously. While there aren’t any problems with a comedy deciding to have a plot, in this case Baywatch seemed to think its audience was going to care about what was going on with these people. There is an entire story involving drugs and murder and blackmail that could not feel more out of place. It seems like the writers wanted to have its cake and eat it too; the movie tried to be self aware while also taking itself seriously and that is a line they couldn’t pull off. It meant there were long stretches where the main cast was “investigating” where there wasn’t a single joke. It made the two hour run time feel much longer than it already did.
It’s also a movie that doesn’t quite know what to do with its own cast. Johnson and Efron both have great comedic timing but the script isn’t interested in giving them anything interesting to do. Johnson plays the role of Mitch Buchannon completely straight unless the script asks him to do something that makes no sense for his character. Efron’s Matt Brody is a pile of cliches and he isn’t given anything funny to do. The movie also wastes its female characters Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera. They all follow the exact plotline you think they will after five minutes of seeing them interact with other characters. Priyanka Chopra’s villain Victoria Leads seems to have stumbled in from another movie. Her casual disregard for human life and drug smuggling doesn’t mix with the rest of the movie about sexy lifeguards.
Baywatch isn’t offensively bad but is something you’ll forget within twenty-four hours of seeing it. In fact, the only thing you’re likely to remember is the fact that this is a movie selling itself on boobs where you don’t get to see any. Or, if you’re a woman, you’ll remember the second hand pain you get from watching a bunch of slow motion boobs bounce around like that. That just looks painful.
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