Baywatch, from director Seth Gordon, starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario, is a remake of the long-running 90s television show. It follows the Baywatch crew as they go through the pains of becoming a functional team and dealing with potential threats to beach goers.
Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron have both proven themselves to be decent comedic actors, but they are both extremely irritating in this film. They’re putting in an obvious effort, but most of the jokes they deliver were either not funny, or extremely out of taste. The two also lacked chemistry, making every joke between them feel incredibly forced. The rest of the cast is mostly forgettable, as they had little to do onscreen. Additionally, Jon Bass put on the worst performance of the year so far. His character felt like something you’d see in a bad Youtube skit. The antagonist of the film, played by Priyanka Chopra, is a bland rehashing of most action film villains of the last thirty years. Her character lacked originality in almost all aspects.
The film itself lacked originality as well. Everything in Baywatch has already been done better in multiple films. This film becomes predictable within the first 15 minutes of the runtime. The director clearly takes inspiration from the Jump Street series, but it doesn’t work because the script is not strong. The jokes felt very amateurish and weak. One especially bad joke, regarding Stephen Hawking, was incredibly insensitive. There are multiple crude scenes that add nothing to the film and are extremely cringe worthy—these scenes feel cheap and lazy. The dialogue was bland and boring, making what was intended to be a fun summer action/comedy film the most boring movie of the year, by far. People were walking out of the theatre halfway in.
The action set pieces in Baywatch were some of the worst in recent memory. The blatantly obvious greenscreen is reminiscent of something that you would see in 2005. It looked as if the post production was entirely done in Adobe Photoshop. With a budget of $69 million, this film is an embarrassment. The fire scenes looked completely digital and even the scenes that were set underwater were obviously greenscreen.
This film knows what it is and tries to poke fun at itself, but that’s not an excuse to make a horrible film with completely disposable characters. Its direction is bland and generic; it feels like every other bad action/comedy film ever released. The script is dull and lacks originality and its jokes fall completely flat. It’s a comedy film that isn’t funny in the slightest bit. This project had no redeeming qualities, and was hard to sit through. Stay far away from this film. It’s not even worth recommending to watch on Netflix, so clearly, it isn’t worth the price of admission.
(Featured Image: Baywatch, Paramount Pictures)