The big screen incarnation of 90’s TV hit Baywatch has its tongue firmly shoved in its posing pouch from the get go, but does it need rescuing from itself?
The opening sequence lets the audience know straight away that this is going to be a silly, slapstick and in-yer-face homage to the show that propelled Pamela Anderson to super fame, and kept Hasselhoff at hero mode for longer than even he would have expected.
This time around Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson plays Mitch Buchannon, Mr Perfect and the neighbourhood’s most likable lifeguard. His CJ Parker is played by the beautiful Kelly Rohrbach, whose beach body makes her the apple of Baywatch wannabe and all round goofball Ronnie Greenbaum’s eye, who’s comedically played by Jon Bass. However? Ronnie has some competition before he can put on those famous red trunks. It’s recruit time so bring on our likely future heroes including hard body ex-Olympic swimmer come bad boy Matt Brody, played by Zac Efron.
Unbeknown to the newbies, being a Baywatch lifeguard is more than saving lives at the beach. Trainees at his heel, Buchannon sets on a journey to uncover corruption and dirty drug deals by local business women Victoria Leeds, played by Priyanka Chopra. But have our heroes in rather small red suits bitten off more than they can chew?
This action-packed comedy never quite finds its stride as the script crams too many quick-fire crude one-liners that feel forced and subsequently fall flat. The film goes from gross-out comedy, to a glimpse of sentimental storyline, to all out action flick which just doesn’t flow well and the character’s banter never quite sets sail. The best interactions come from oddball Ronnie who manages a more natural funny man persona than his co-stars. The R-rating hasn’t helped the script either, as it seems the writers have just gone a little school boy with their language seemingly just chucking it in there so much that it loses any comedic value. Johnson and Efron’s chemistry doesn’t quite come through even though they’ve both previously shown some excellent funny bones on the silver screen, shame it just doesn’t work well here.
Director Seth Gordon has had fun with this film and played on his stars action credentials, but unfortunately the laughs don’t come as easy as they did with his hit Horrible Bosses.
Overall the cast do a good job with what they have to work with and there are some fun moments with plenty of the body beautiful to keep you happy for at least some of the 120mins. Check out Baywatch if you want a bit of fun, a bit of a perv and a few laughs.
Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar