Chris’ Movie Review
Rating: 5/10 (Average)
Recommendation: Redbox It
It’s hard to fully review a film that you know is meant to be ridiculous. On the one hand, if you’re to harsh, you’ll come off as stingy and unwilling to compromise. On the other hand though, if you’re too light, people will say “Yeah. It’s fine. But how come that person loved it so much?”
You can say this about any review really but when it comes to movies that go out of their way to be over the top, you have to really tread a thin line…. Unless it’s really good or bad. Then you can say what you please.
Baywatch stars Dwayne Johnson (Mitch), Zac Efron (Matt Brodie), Alexandra Daddario (Summer), Priyanka Chopra (Victoria), and Jon Bass (Ronnie).
Mitch is the head of the beach. He runs the beach and nothing gets by him. He’s also the best lifeguard of all time.
Once a year, Baywatch holds tryouts to add one new member but this year, they’re making an exception and they’re adding three new candidates. In steps in Matt Brodie. A two time Olympic gold medalist and one cocky man. Brodie expects special treatment but Mitch won’t give it to him.
As Matt fights for a spot, drug deals start happening on the beach and Mitch investigates. Even though the cops tell Mitch this his isn’t jurisdiction or problem, he goes against the system.
Baywatch now is involved with solving murderers, drug deals, and all of the silliness that entails from these scenarios.
Baywatch has so much going on that my plot summary probably felt like it took an hour to read but there’s so much to cover in this “Simple comedy,” at least story wise there is. The review itself, maybe not so much.
For starters, the cast is likable. I’ve come across a lot of movies, this year, that have had likable actors in it. Sure the movies aren’t always good but I just find this to be interesting. And, obviously, this film isn’t an exception.
Name one movie where Dwayne Johnson isn’t likable? I’ll wait. I can’t honestly think of one and this holds true here as well. Dwayne is one of those actors that isn’t “Oscar” worthy (Unless he does a film like that and really steps up) but he has a presence that oozes fun. He makes a film feel extremely lively and the atmosphere just glows around him. It’s just amazing to see, especially since he pulls it off in every movie, that I’ve seen, he’s in.
The rest of the actors are fun to watch too. Zac plays his usual “Jock” type well. Alexandra has great chemistry with Zac on screen. And Jon Bass plays a good “Comedic relief” character. Normally a character like this can hinder the movie but Jon isn’t always in your face. He lays around in the background and strikes when needed and, most of the time, he’s pretty funny. But Priyanka is sort of the outcast here.
Priyanka plays the villain, and while it’s not bad, she’s just forgettable. The writers didn’t give Priyanka much to work with. They gave most of the script to Dwayne and Zac. Priyanka, and some of the other cast members, are left out to dry. Which is a shame because Priyanka’s character probably could’ve been a lot fun to watch but the writers missed the boat on that one.
Another hit, is the comedy. While the actors do a good job making the film likable, the jokes are hit and miss. The comedy can be very crude and it can over stay it’s welcome way too often. Again, not all of the jokes land on the negative side of the spectrum, but more often than not, the comedy lands on the wrong side of town.
Another, odd but noticable, issue is the green screen effects. Most of these are just bad. Along with that, the action scenes aren’t shot that well. There are way too many close-ups and you can’t tell what’s going on half of the time. Which is a shame because the movie has actors who can pull off these stunts well but the director chose not to show them off.
Even though it was mentioned earlier, the plot is too condiluded. There’s way too much going to really comprehend. Most of the time, you might zone out trying to follow what’s going on. I know I did. Once the story gets back on track with the Baywatch crew, the movie starts to flow again. But when the plot derails, the plot just becomes a jumbled mess trying to surface to the top of the water.
Baywatch is a movie that goes over the top on purpose but it holds back in certain areas. And if the film decided to just go all out, it probably would’ve made it an awesome experience to witness but unfortunately, that’s not what we get here.
The film struggles with keeping the narrative clean and free of becoming a mess. The villain gets shafted. And the action scenes aren’t that great to look at. But the actors are likable. The jokes can be really funny from time to time. And Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson…enough said.
Baywatch isn’t a theater film but if you’re bored and this is in a Redbox, give it a quick look over. It’s light hearted enough to get a few laughs.
As usual, thanks for reading!