Back in 1989, there was a television show that became iconic for slo-mo running, red swim suits and… David Hasselhoff. That show was called, Baywatch! Now, I’m not sure how big it’s fan base was or how many viewers it had per episode, but apparently, it was enough because Baywatch ran for 11 seasons. Fast forward to 2017 and the series gets a big screen movie. Now, before fans go and dig out their red swim trunks and make plans to hit the beach, you must be warned… this is not the Baywatch you remember watching on television.
What’s Baywatch about? (cue theme music) In Emerald Bay, Florida, Mitch Buchannon and his team of lifeguards are preparing for the lifeguard tryouts, where new recruits will be hand picked to join the lifeguard team. Unfotantly, Mitch’s boss, Captian Thorpe, has already picked one of the winners, Olympic gold medalist Matt Brody. Come to find out Brody needs to serve some community service hours and Mitch’s boss thinks Brody’s fame will do the Bay some good. Problem is, Brody isn’t really a team player and thinks he can do anything when it comes to the water. As if Mitch doesn’t already have his hands full with the tryouts, there’s also a new designer street drug floating around the beach. So, Mitch makes it his mission to find and stop the drug from getting any more of a hold, then it already has, on his beach.
Now, I’m gonna stop right here and take a second to warn you. Baywatch, with a running time of hundred and twenty-one minutes, is filled with low brow humor. Its baseline of humor is built on visual inappropriate gags and gross out gags that fits perfectly in the college humor section of laughs. Also, it’s rated R for language, violence, and nudity. Now, with that in mind, I laughed my butt off. Once you realize the level of humor you’re dealing with and are able to separate the movie from the show, you might enjoy it. They took the movie in a different direction from the show. As they have with a few of the old television shows lately, like CHIPS (2017) and 21 Jump Street (2012). They took a serious show and turned it upside down and filled it with laughs and gags. Now, that’s not to say the movie wasn’t good because, in its own Special ED kind of way, it was. The story is a bit unbelievable but does the job to give plenty of reasons for laughs and cool life-saving scenes.
The playthrough was enjoyable and the movie keeps a fairly good pace all the way through. I’d say about fifteen-minutes in and you’ll decide if this is a movie for you. If you stick around and you’ll be laughing the entire time. It’s a sit back and turn off the brain kind of movie.
I thought the cast, which was Dwayne Johnson (Central Intelligence), Zac Efron (Neighbors), Alexandra Daddario (San Andreas), Kelly Rohrbach (Cafe Society), Ilfenesh Hadera (Chi‑Raq), Jon Bass (Loving), Yahya Abul-Mateen II (The Get Down), Hannibal Buress (The Secret Life of Pets), Rob Huebel (Keanu), Amin Joseph (Dope), Jack Kesy (Intruders) and Priyanka Chopra (Barfi!), did a great job. Out of everyone, I’d have to say my favorite characters were Mitch, Brody, and Ronnie. The chemistry between Johnson (Mitch) and Efron (Brody) was great and those two pulled off some hilarious scenes together. The next person that brings the most laughs would be Bass, who played Ronnie.
As far as the special effects go, I wasn’t really impressed by them. There’s a big boat fire scene that looks like it should be cool, but it’s like they tried to hard to make it look cool. It doesn’t blend in very well and at times has a 3-D sort of effect going on during it. Luckily, the boat fire was the worse of the spots and everything else looked a lot better in comparison.
On August 29th, 2017 the Blu-ray was released and here are the special features you’ll find floating around on it:
-Meet the Lifeguards: A detailed examination of the cast and characters and the qualities the actors brought to the roles.
-Continuing the Legacy: A look at the TV show’s success and legacy and the importance of recreating it in the right way.
-Stunts & Training: As the title suggests, this supplement looks at the actors’ physical preparations for the parts and executing the necessary scenes and stunts.
-Deleted & Extended Scenes: CJ Messes with Stephanie, Coffee and Doughnuts, Where Could I Score?, Bathroom Misunderstanding, Directions to the Morgue, and Brody and Captain Thorpe.
Overall, it’s not the Baywatch you’ll remember, but if you’re in a laid back mood and looking for some laughs, then give it a watch.