Baywatch (2017)

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Critic Consensus: Baywatch takes its source material's jiggle factor to R-rated levels, but lacks the original's campy charm -- and leaves its charming stars flailing in the shallows.

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BAYWATCH follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) as he butts heads with a brash new recruit (Efron). Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.

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Cast

Dwayne Johnson
as Mitch Buchannon
Zac Efron
as Matt Brody
Kelly Rohrbach
as C.J. Parker
Priyanka Chopra
as Victoria Leeds
Ilfenesh Hadera
as Stephanie Holden
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Critic Reviews for Baywatch

All Critics (225) | Top Critics (44)

The biggest disappointment of this feature is that it's not even so bad it's good.

Nov 17, 2017 | Full Review…

Suffice it to say, too, that there's a lot of delight to be had in the frothy union of the Bay and the Watch, much of it coming from Johnson, who carries the whole of this movie on his epically chiseled lats.

Jun 16, 2017 | Full Review…

Teeters between absurdity and earnestness.

May 31, 2017 | Full Review…

[Baywatch] won't make anyone think about anything, except maybe about where to plan their next vacation where they, too, can run in slo-mo on the sand. But, with everything else going on in the world these days, that may not be such a bad thing.

May 31, 2017 | Rating: 3/5

Thank heaven for Dwayne Johnson, whose foot-wide smile will not be switched off, and who saves the life of the movie. Whether it deserves to be saved is another matter.

May 29, 2017 | Full Review…

The idea of lifeguards playing detective is so fundamentally ridiculous that making fun of it never gets old.

May 27, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Baywatch

½

Right, so I know precisely feck all about Baywatch the TV show apart from the fact it starred the legendary David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. Baywatch was always one of those popular things that existed in the background of my younger years, but I simply wasn't interested in it (much like [i]Power Rangers[/i], [i]Neighbours[/i] or [i]Home and Away[/i] for example). It seemed that most young lads would watch Baywatch simply to see Pamela Anderson and co running around in their tight red bathing suits. Being a fan of Ms. Anderson I understood the potential of this but it simply wasn't enough to get me to watch the show. It always came across to me as very lame and extremely vanilla softcore porn, like looking in a women's underwear catalog. This movie is basically all about a team of lifeguards that work together to bring down a nasty entrepreneur who is planning on buying up the whole beach area so she can sell her synthetic street drugs easily. Is that what tended to happen in the TV show each week? Also, I thought this series was set in California? This movie seems to be set in Florida, why is that? Anyway before all the action kicks, in true [i]Police Academy[/i] style, the lifeguards are recruiting so cue a lengthy montage of so called comedy and pretty people in swimwear. This also introduces us to the whole gang basically. Lifeguard leader, Lieutenant Mitch Buchannon who is generally an all round perfect human specimen but thinks he has the authority to do anything on and off his beach. Stephanie Holden (IIfenesh Hadera), second in command, cocky and Asian? And C.J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach), hot blonde who isn't as hot as the original played by Anderson. That's it, that's the team, three people. The new recruits are Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) who is the standard hot brunette. Ronnie (Jon Bass) the stereotypical fat nerdy guy who is somehow picked despite being clearly too fat. And young good looking hotshot Matt Brody (Zac Efron). So as you might expect there are egos flying all over the flippin' place in this movie, satire or not. The movie is pretty much The Rock vs Efron for the most part. Dwayne Johnson is doing his usual all round nice guy charm act interspersed with being really hard when he needs to be. There is also a strong family theme running though the movie that Mitch himself promotes at every turn with his team (ugh!!). Whilst Brody is the stereotypical dimwitted pretty boy that starts off all big-headed, gets taken down a peg or two and then proves himself. At the start Brody must complete this pointless obstacle course only to find out he must then complete Mitch's weightlifting obstacle course, which was equally pointless. I guess it was to show Brody up and prove he wasn't ready? Or it was just pointless, you decide. Admittedly the fast put-downs that Mitch throws at Brody are highly amusing and brutal. Whilst in conversation Mitch calls Brody 'High School Musical', 'One Direction', 'Bieber', 'Malibu Ken', 'Baby Gap' etc...At the same time Mitch also throws out some epic lines such as [i]'I'm oceanic motherfucker!'[/i]. Most of the reasonably funny stuff comes from either Johnson or Efron as they clash nipples. The rest of the cast are useless and merely there to either look pretty or attempt to be funny. Jon Bass as fat Ronnie is not funny, he is of no use in the movie and he does literally nothing. The opening visual gag of him getting his nuts stuck in a wooden deckchair was pitiful. The girls were...umm...very nice in their red swimsuits. Attempts were clearly made to give them brains and useful scenes but alas...The villain was also a female played by Priyanka Chopra, she was very beautiful, that is all. The main joke in this movie that obviously pokes fun at the TV show (presumably because I don't actually know), is the fact that these lifeguards actually have no real power. They are merely lifeguards that stop people from drowning and keeping the beach safe from...littering, sexual acts, crime I guess...whatever. The whole point is they aren't cops, they can't go after drug dealers, they can't have car chases and they can't infiltrate anywhere. Mitch has a hard time understanding this with his heroic gung-ho attitude, plus he's also backed up by Stephanie and C.J. which doesn't help. Ironically its only dumbass Brody that seems to understand this. The main problem I had with this movie aside from the terrible dialog, horrendous acting, fucking dreadful CGI, fucking dreadful greenscreen, God-awful action sequences, immature facepalm comedy and completely unstructured plot, aside from all that. One single thing, is this supposed to be an actual serious action flick? I know that sounds incredible because you'd think this was an obvious spoof like many other movies of dated TV shows. But yes, I ask, is this supposed to be serious because at times I just couldn't tell! At points there are moments of stupidity for sure, as if the director forgot to put that kinda of material in. But for the most part this felt like a genuine action movie, like they actually took it relatively seriously. Hilarious really because its so unbelievably bad. So yeah, this movie is flippin' garbage. Chock full of obligatory rap music. Lots of little jabs using identity politics, again apparently obligatory now. And a cameo by David Hasselhoff that doesn't make any real sense. Hasselhoff appears to Rock-Mitch and begins to teach him in a spiritual kind of way. So he's supposed to be some kind of mentor? From where? Mentor of what? Then we also get a mute cameo from Pamela Anderson; just walks on screen in slow motion and done. A predictable, throwaway, waste of everyone's time and money.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

It embraces camp in a ridiculous way, with obnoxious characters, shitty actors (even though Dwayne Johnson is charismatic), awful CGI (a clear indicator of a lazy director) and nothing of the kitsch charm that made the TV show so amusing and successful in the first place.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Baywatch's opening sequence sets the tone of the shows ridiculous premise immediately as it quickly recognizes itself as a parody of what was always a silly idea. Filled with referential self deprecating humor the movie excels most when being excessive. Yet for some odd reason Baywatch continually attempts to create real heartfelt moments that simply do not belong, they're both awkward and unwelcoming. It also feels like Dwayne and Zac steal the show entirely as the supporting cast gets subsidized to having little to no character and are simply along for the ride. In the end it's exactly the type of nonsensical popcorn comedy that it's intended to be but it could've been a lot more entertaining if more creative, over the top scenarios were played out and supporting roles got a chance to shine.

Drake Tsui
Drake Tsui

Super Reviewer

½

The notion of basing a film on a pre-existing pop-culture phenomenon isn't anything new, and quite frankly should be expected each and every year to come these days. Baywatch is just the latest film to get the revamp treatment, and unlike a property like 21 Jump Street, this film doesn't quite hit the right beats to make itself memorable. Sure, everything about this film was aiming to be campy fun, while still having a dramatic tone when necessary, but that's just it, it didn't need to take itself so seriously. I laughed quite a few times throughout my viewing of Baywatch, but the movie surrounding the comedy was pretty bad, and here's why. Baywatch is a film that should've played as a straight-up comedy, because that's the only way to make anything great from this brand. While the first act of this film is fairly funny and had me chuckling on multiple occasions, it's just way too serious when the plot involving dugs and murder (excuse the expression) washes ashore. Personally, if this aspect of the film had been altered in the screenplay to be something funnier, it would've made for a much better movie. I'm not going to agree with the all of the hate this film has on it though, because I believe the cast of this film is really what held it together and kept me wishing for something better. You have people like Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, and even newcomers like Kelly Rohrbach and Jon Bass, who are giving their all in these roles in order to deliver a very fun movie for their audience. The sad part about that is their dialogue is very thin and the jokes are very hit-or-miss. The chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron is very much present here and I thought the awkward chemistry between Kelly Rohrbach and Jon Bass was the highlight of the entire film, but it could never rise up enough for me to care about any of the stakes. Going into this film, if you think any of these characters will ever be in serious peril (which you shouldn't), then you may be one of the few to love this movie, because it's incredibly predictable. When you have a movie called Baywatch, dick jokes and boob jokes are going to be prevalent, there's no way around that fact. That being said, this film squanders that element to death, and by the hundredth time they did one, it just wasn't funny anymore. Gross out humour and vulgarity are the tactics that are used to get out of jokes that are wearing thin as well. Not only vulgarity, but the term "cheesy" is thrown out there when the entire scene is literally too cheesy for its own good. I'm sorry but this film is one big news flash that being entirely self-aware is not enough, because you have to know exactly how to be self-aware or it will just come off as lazy. Most critics have been calling this film an unfunny disaster, but it's not really as bad as they're saying. The premise itself after the first act ends? Sure, I'll give them that, because that's really what sunk my experience for me. As I said, there are quite a few occasions that had me chuckling, so that is definitely a plus toward the film, but the overall picture is far too cheesy and overly self-aware that I found myself not caring about any of the stakes they were in. With an uninspired story and jokes that wear thin pretty fast, Baywatch doesn't do much for its audience. Some people may truly get a kick out of this film, but I can see the majority being fairly torn down the middle. I didn't hate watching this movie, I just didn't care very much.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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