An extremely silly yet ultimately entertaining yarn.
The beautiful sunsets, those famed red swimsuits and, of course, the slow motion shots – Baywatch was a staple of 1990s television, so it comes as no surprise that it has finally been reborn into the world of film. While the days of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson leading the line are way beyond us (now reduced to cameo appearances), the task at hand is in the safest of hands – Dwayne Johnson.
The big man himself plays the leader of the Baywatch team, Mitch Buchanon, as the fittest and most reliable lifeguard team out there, bolstered by the likes of CJ (Kelly Rohrbach) and Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hedera). With the annual tryouts taking place on the beach, three new recruits are primed for the team; cocky Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a disgraced Olympic gold medallist, the determined Summer (Alexandra Daddario) and the rather hapless Ronnie (Jon Bass). When they finally become part of the Baywatch team, a criminal enterprise begins to rear its head, fronted by the beautiful yet dangerous Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra).
Baywatch is one of those films that will divide audiences; a comedy that will either have you thinking that all the good jokes are in the trailer or one that you can simply leave your brain at the door and revel in its nostalgic and comedic silliness that is ultimately self-awareness at its highest level. There are dick jokes flying left, right and centre, those slow-motion shots of women in their bikinis and Zac Efron being a bit of a douche. And Dwayne Johnson on MVP form as always… In short, we think it’s all a bit of a blast, even if there are plentiful moments where you can’t help but think they’re pushing the boundaries a bit too much.
The short and long of it is that Baywatch was made to entertain and it sure as hell doesn’t hold back in doing so. While Johnson is quipping his way through leading man territory as Mitch, Efron provides a worthy sidekick, and the women of the show prove that they’re not just in it for the beachwear modelling (despite what many may think).
Comedy is often about being silly and leaving a sense of reality behind and Baywatch is the best recent example of this, whisping its way through some slick action sequences, throwing jokes every which way possible and even dressing Efron up in a skirt. It’s not going to be everyone’s bag but you certainly can’t fault the team behind the film for their efforts in updating a classic brand that dominated television back in the day.
Leave your serious side at the door and head down to the beach for a whale of a time.
Baywatch is out on Blu-Ray and DVD from 25th September.