Movie Review – “Baywatch”

“Rounding out the magazine cover ensemble is Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario and, uh, really who cares in this world of self-promoting Instagram? This is “Baywatch” after all. And it works.”

Patrick King, REEL BRIEF

Returning to its successful beach-combing techniques that made it one of the world’s most watched television programs ever, this big-screen comedy reboot exudes unabashed sexy hard bodies with a simplistic, yet effective, crime-fighting element. An entertaining and humorous adventure bolts from lifeguard Tower 1 at Emerald Bay, Florida, in super slo-mo cinematography and lewd comedic fashion. The result is a surprisingly funny and fast-paced movie that saves lives and packs plenty of blockbuster box office power.

A perfectly cast film, “Baywatch” never takes itself too serious or asks too much from its model cast. Leading the eye-popping collection of traditional red, one-piece swimming suits and loose swim trunks is none other than charismatic social media charmer Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. As lifeguard headmaster Mitch Buchannon, Johnson easily carries the entire movie over his left shoulder, barking instructions to anyone who will listen.

Rounding out the magazine cover ensemble is Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario and, uh, really who cares in this world of self-promoting Instagram? This is “Baywatch” after all. And it works. Each character, in their most beautiful and satirical way, eagerly dives into or sprints towards danger for the safety of others and the pleasure of moviegoers. The on-screen camaraderie builds as relationships are formed using crisp laugh lines and crude sexual references.

Intentional over-acting and constant self-promotion lets us, the viewers, in on the gag that The Rock & Co. are pulling off almost effortlessly. Everyone flaunts their sexy best features between the lifeguard tryout competition until the last criminal is caught. Appearing between rip tides, two epic cameos arrive on-scene as a nod to how big and far this lifesaving story has come over nearly three decades.

A walk back into television history, “Baywatch” now earns its beach cred on film. The story of white-hot sandy environs protected by equally hot bodies is back…and probably with a few more lifeguard tours in its future. NBC cancelled “Baywatch” after one TV season, only to sit back and watch a world of 15 languages save it through using syndication CPR. This movie version confidently taps into that bold, beautiful and witty global success with a spoofing sense of humor throughout and an equally enjoyable blooper reel at the end.

The media has reported this Memorial Day travel as the busiest in over 10 years. I suspect quite a few people will venture to the movie theaters. Many will also hit the coastlines. Some, perhaps, after watching this movie’s enjoyable and provocative romp on the beach.

Grade: B

“Baywatch” is rated R for language throughout, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity. Its running time is 1 hour and 56 minutes.

© 2017, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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