4 / 5
Based on the hit TV show of the Nineties, Baywatch became a worldwide phenomenon, serving up sun, semi-naked beauties and very silly storylines. The big screen adaptation starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron is simply two hours of pure entertainment.
Everything about Baywatch the movie is big, brash and bombastic. The action sequences are huge, the soundtrack is awesome, and the people are ludicrously good looking. There is no escaping from the fact that at times the whole move particularly the storyline itself is not only completely ludicrous but also highly unoriginal. Basically Johnson character Mitch find packets of drugs on the beach and throw in a missing city official and unexplained yacht fire, its clear that there’s a larger criminal scheme in play. However, it is the caustic interplay between Mitch and Matt played by Efron who has to earn his place within this beautiful body of red clad lifeguards a much-needed spark of tension.
Praise has to be given to screenwriters Damian Shannon and Mark Swift as Baywatch keeps the spirit of the original TV series, which ran from 1989 to 2001, largely intact in it’s porting over many of the original characters. Take the character Mitch being portrayed by Johnson, originated by David Hasselhoff, is the superhero-like, fearless leader of these do-gooder lifeguards. Whereas Kelly Rohrbach character CJ is the classic Baywatch bombshell we would expect, as is Summer played by Alexander Daddario, although the film sells her somewhat as the girl next door. Ilfenesh Hadera character, Stephanie, is simply depicted as being nothing more than Mitch’s right-hand woman. Whereas Zac Efron character Matt Brody with his cocky and brash attitude simply throws the group’s professional camaraderie into the loop, as he needs to learn a thing or two about being a team player.
Baywatch is ridiculously entertaining especially each time Mitch gives calls Matt the name of another boy band, however, it is Johnson delivery that cracks like a whip ensure the joke stays fresh. It may not stand the test of time well, as long as your not expecting to see the next best picture winner it is a perfectly acceptable junk food film. You may feel guilty watching it, let alone never thought that in a million years you say the words “I’m going to see Baywatch the movie”, quite simply it is unfiltered escapism.