BAYWATCH

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

When it comes to Baywatch —the 90s television sensation that shot David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson to dizzying amounts of fame—the first things that come to mind would obviously be the beach vistas and bikini-clad women running in painfully exaggerated slow-mo. In an era where the internet was nowhere near as accessible as today, its massive viewership ratings would come as no surprise, even if the series was but a montage of objectification and awful performances.

Curiosity toward director Seth Gordon’s (Horrible Bosses) cinematic reboot, then, is evident, especially after Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s (The Fate of the Furious) claim of it making the show look tame. Gordon does have a very ripe opportunity on his hands—if handled well, this has the potential to be a ridiculously self-aware comedy, with guilty pleasure written all over it.

Or not.

THE MOVIE

High School Rock? We Are Your Furious?

If there’s one thing Baywatch gets right, it’s the self-acceptance of its it’s-so-bad-it’s good source material. That’s  about it, though. Thanks to its shoddy translation by writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, this thinly plotted movie veers all over the place, leaving the end result with more of a so-bad-it’s-awful garden variety.

But nobody cares about the plot, dude-bro!

Of course. But that doesn’t mean it’s replaced by lazy writing and character arcs, which doesn’t do its rather impressive lineup any good. The first odd-hour throws in a haphazard quasi-montage of The Rock rescuing a long list of people. The list of rescues, in the second hour, will include Zac Efron (We Are Your Friends)—with abs so huge kids could play hopscotch on them—whose job is to exclusively showcase his latest monster-workout. Quite a shame, as his character graph boasts a setup, but forgets the payoff. Any “bro-mance” between the Rock and Efron falls flat due to its sheer inconsistency.

[…] despite [the Rock’s] bedazzling smile and inexhaustible charisma, this movie can’t be saved from drowning.KELVIN KANTHARAJ VINCENT

The film—supposedly an action comedy—is reduced to a combination of gags that never really land. A notable, but redundant, example would be the Rock hitting Efron with a slew of nicknames, like “One Direction”, “Malibu Ken”, “Bieber”, and even, in a nod to his roots, “High School Musical”. The biggest gag, however, is the tremendously terrible John Bass. He dons the role of a cringeworthy out-of-shape dork, and one cant help but feel sorry for him—and obviously not because he’s a dork, you know. Early in the movie, there’s an entire set-piece dedicated to Bass, whose character gets his um… member stuck in a chair, but can’t get it out because he has his crush’s bosoms shoved in his face. (Brace yourselves, there’s a whole lot more of the type, and they’re all unsurprisingly flaccid as hell).

Fun fact: this was Alexandra Daddario’s (San Andreas) favourite scene in the movie. Yeah, let that sink in, nice and slow.

Wait, did we almost forget about the female cast? Quite possible, considering its makers reduce the trinity (Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach and Ilfenesh Hadera) to objects of the male gaze, just like their counterparts in TV. Oh and there’s also Priyanka Chopra’s (television’s Quantico) antagonist thrown in too. In what looks like an insufferable Hollywood feature debut, she preens and purrs in gowns with plunging necklines and thigh-high slits—you know, the age-old female villain archetype? She deserves much better, and so does the Rock. Oh, you can’t help but feel sorry for him, because despite his bedazzling smile and inexhaustible charisma, this movie can’t be saved from drowning.

Why are we here again?

VERDICT

Baywatch, like its television counterpart, is soapy, silly and campy. The only difference—and this is a major one—is that while the series was watchable, its film adaptation is anything but, drowning with no hope of a rescue. Avoid it if you can.

Watch the trailer here:

About the Author

Kelvin Kantharaj Vincent

Facebook

Voracious reader. Passionate writer. Certified crazy. Relentless foodie.

Star Rating:

Plot

LA lifeguard Mitch Buchannon teams up with hot–headed rookie Matt Brody to thwart the efforts of a local drug dealer from taking over Baywatch.

Cast

Dwayne Johnson
Zac Efron
Alexandra Daddario

Director

Seth Gordon

Rated

R

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Cast Dwayne Johnson
Zac Efron
Alexandra Daddario
Director Seth Gordon
Star Rating

THE PLOT

LA lifeguard Mitch Buchannon teams up with hot–headed rookie Matt Brody to thwart the efforts of a local drug dealer from taking over Baywatch.

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

When it comes to Baywatch —the 90s television sensation that shot David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson to dizzying amounts of fame—the first things that come to mind would obviously be the beach vistas and bikini-clad women running in painfully exaggerated slow-mo. In an era where the internet was nowhere near as accessible as today, its massive viewership ratings would come as no surprise, even if the series was but a montage of objectification and awful performances.

Curiosity toward director Seth Gordon’s (Horrible Bosses) cinematic reboot, then, is evident, especially after Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s (The Fate of the Furious) claim of it making the show look tame. Gordon does have a very ripe opportunity on his hands—if handled well, this has the potential to be a ridiculously self-aware comedy, with guilty pleasure written all over it.

Or not.

THE MOVIE

High School Rock? We Are Your Furious?

If there’s one thing Baywatch gets right, it’s the self-acceptance of its it’s-so-bad-it’s good source material. That’s  about it, though. Thanks to its shoddy translation by writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, this thinly plotted movie veers all over the place, leaving the end result with more of a so-bad-it’s-awful garden variety.

But nobody cares about the plot, dude-bro!

Of course. But that doesn’t mean it’s replaced by lazy writing and character arcs, which doesn’t do its rather impressive lineup any good. The first odd-hour throws in a haphazard quasi-montage of The Rock rescuing a long list of people. The list of rescues, in the second hour, will include Zac Efron (We Are Your Friends)—with abs so huge kids could play hopscotch on them—whose job is to exclusively showcase his latest monster-workout. Quite a shame, as his character graph boasts a setup, but forgets the payoff. Any “bro-mance” between the Rock and Efron falls flat due to its sheer inconsistency.

[…] despite [the Rock’s] bedazzling smile and inexhaustible charisma, this movie can’t be saved from drowning.KELVIN KANTHARAJ VINCENT

The film—supposedly an action comedy—is reduced to a combination of gags that never really land. A notable, but redundant, example would be the Rock hitting Efron with a slew of nicknames, like “One Direction”, “Malibu Ken”, “Bieber”, and even, in a nod to his roots, “High School Musical”. The biggest gag, however, is the tremendously terrible John Bass. He dons the role of a cringeworthy out-of-shape dork, and one cant help but feel sorry for him—and obviously not because he’s a dork, you know. Early in the movie, there’s an entire set-piece dedicated to Bass, whose character gets his um… member stuck in a chair, but can’t get it out because he has his crush’s bosoms shoved in his face. (Brace yourselves, there’s a whole lot more of the type, and they’re all unsurprisingly flaccid as hell).

Fun fact: this was Alexandra Daddario’s (San Andreas) favourite scene in the movie. Yeah, let that sink in, nice and slow.

Wait, did we almost forget about the female cast? Quite possible, considering its makers reduce the trinity (Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach and Ilfenesh Hadera) to objects of the male gaze, just like their counterparts in TV. Oh and there’s also Priyanka Chopra’s (television’s Quantico) antagonist thrown in too. In what looks like an insufferable Hollywood feature debut, she preens and purrs in gowns with plunging necklines and thigh-high slits—you know, the age-old female villain archetype? She deserves much better, and so does the Rock. Oh, you can’t help but feel sorry for him, because despite his bedazzling smile and inexhaustible charisma, this movie can’t be saved from drowning.

Why are we here again?

VERDICT

Baywatch, like its television counterpart, is soapy, silly and campy. The only difference—and this is a major one—is that while the series was watchable, its film adaptation is anything but, drowning with no hope of a rescue. Avoid it if you can.

Watch trailer here:

About the Author

Kelvin Kantharaj Vincent

Facebook

Voracious reader. Passionate writer. Certified crazy. Relentless foodie.

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