Baywatch (2017) Review

Keeva Stratton

Film Expert

A group of aesthetically pleasing lifesavers take on criminal investigations while running in slow motion, in this film remake of the much beloved—and bemoaned—TV series.

baywatchimage via pinterest

Seriously dedicated lifesaver Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) leads a team of talented lifesavers at one of LA’s most dangerous beaches. His team needs to grow, and he is sent a disgraced Olympic swimmer by the local authorities—Matt Brody (Zach Efron), who he reluctantly hires, along with Summer (Alexandra Daddario) and tech geek Ronnie (Jon Bass).

When drugs and a wayward city councillor wash up on the beach, Buchannon suspects foul play. He and his team decide to conduct their own investigation, which leads them to the newest resident in town, hotelier Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra). But, the police aren’t interested.

If they are going to prove that Leeds is behind some of the crooked activities taking place, it will be up to them to see that justice is done.

Baywatch was always a TV series that loosely masked its voyeuristic purpose with outrageous criminal investigations. The film is no different. Heading in with the lowest of expectations, I couldn’t help but be surprised by some of the truly funny moments the film presents. They are sparse, but when they come together, it’s actually quite entertaining. The morgue scene is a real highlight.

Efron and Johnson seem to know how to make the most of their careers. Their shameless ability to take on roles that offer little more than a few quips and many shirtless moments shows an awareness that’s admirable. My only gripe is the choice of sunglasses for Efron. As someone who appreciates what sunglasses can do, the frame choice for a film spent largely in the sun was sadly underwhelming (—come on Zac, we know you can do better).

Baywatch is set to continue the TV to film remake trend that has had its hits and misses. It’s not a terrible film by any means, but it probably lives up (or down!) to the expectations the TV series set in terms of quality and true aesthetic purpose. With minor appearances from some of the original cast, it’s unlikely to evoke too much nostalgia—if indeed such a thing existed for the original.

Perhaps it’s better to wait until it’s on TV. 

Director: Seth Gordon

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario

Runtime: 1hr 56 mins

Release Date: June 1

Rating: MA15+

Reviewer Rating: 2/5


feature image via pinterest

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