Back when the 2017 Baywatch movie was announced, it was being sold as an R-rated comedy akin to 21 Jump Street. It had Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who is arguably the most in-demand actor in the world right now, and the charming Zac Efron, whose comedic ability is extremely underrated. I was cautiously on board. With an idea like this and with these two front and center, how bad could it possibly get? Well...
It's pretty damn horrible.
There really isn't any delicate way to put it and even if there was, I wouldn't want to. Baywatch will go down as one of this year's worst films. It's crass, dumb, poorly written, and worst of all, it wasn't even remotely funny.
I do know that
expecting a movie of 21 Jump Street's
caliber would have been asking too much. I just wanted an entertaining and fun
two hours. What I got was a sad excuse of a movie that had me wondering how it
ever got made.ÃÂ
The plot is tired, predictable and incredibly dull. Disgraced two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Brody (Zac Efron) is looking to redeem himself by becoming a lifeguard but finds himself right smack in the middle of Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and his team's investigations on the spread of drugs on the beach.
Look... a nicely crafted, linear story will always be better than an overly complicated mess, but Baywatch is none of these things. It's a horribly crafted screenplay that makes little to no use of the actors' charms. You can literally replace any character in the movie with any other actor and it would not have made any difference.
All three female protagonists were reduced to nothing more than good-looking characters; which is frustrating because Alexandra Daddario is a very good actress, while Kelly Rohrbach and Ilfenesh Hadera could have suited their roles if they were written better. Priyanka Chopra was the biggest waste. The woman's acting ability would have been enough to make this film passable if there was anything meaty in the way her villain character was written (watch the series Quantico to see what I mean). But alas, these characters were about as interesting as the cardboard cutouts outside the cinema.
Don't even get me started on Jon Bass' character. Why would you still need the "funny and awkward" stereotype in a comedy movie? At the very least, the producers should have done something better with the guy's abilities than have him stick to old "lame-guy-trying-to-stop-being-awkward" jokes.
Here's where Baywatch completely pissed me off: the
There are two things I hate in comedies: unearned jokes and cheap jokes; both of which are the only things this movie has. In the wake of great comedies on both TV and film, one would think that we're way past movies that have more than one extremely stupid and painfully long dick joke scene. This movie has two! Not to mention the other offhand dick jokes and stereotypical boob jokes.
It's fine if you want to have dick or boob jokes in your film, but they have to be smart or at least a little bit inspired. Superbad, The Forty-Year-Old Virgin,and Silicon Valley had dick jokes that were extremely funny because there was thought given to the scenes. The jokes in Baywatch are just downright lazy.
Oh, I forgot to mention about the action set pieces! I literally cannot remember any one of them, which is pretty indicative of what the movie as a whole.
Baywatch is a sad excuse of a movie that wastes your time and money. You'd be better off if you burned the ticket you just bought in a dumpster. At least then it would have more entertainment value.