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Baywatch Review

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21 Jump Street has a lot to answer for. Now, I know big screen remakes of old t.v. shows are nothing new, but the success of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s R-Rated, meta comedy, has given rise to a number of imitators who have grabbed the wrong end of the stick, thinking incredibly blue language and gross out humour is the way to go. The latest movie up to bat is Baywatch, a show that people only remember because of David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, and that one joke from Friends. While you never call it a t.v. classic, the original show was cheesy, fun camp about lifeguards whose main skill was slow motion running, but director Seth Gordon (Identity Thief, Horrible Bosses) forgoes all that, upping the raunch and saddling it with generic R-Rated humour that never manages to hit the mark.


Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron share the spotlight as Mitch Buchannon, the overzealous chief of Baywatch, and Matt Brody, the team’s newest, cocksure recruit, and while they’ve both proven themselves incredibly charming and charismatic in the past, they are both having serious off days here, barely able to wring one single laugh from Damian Shannon and Mark Swift’s offensively dumb script. The whole thing just feels incredibly lazy, with a plot stolen from any number of 80’s cop movies involving an upmarket hotel acting as the front for a drug operation flooding the beach with a product that is like ‘Bath Salts on Meth’. But you quickly get the feeling that the main plot doesn’t matter as it moves forward with all the care of , plot points just dropping into our laps with no rhyme or reason, and when the villain’s (played limply by Priyanka Chopra) ultimate plan is revealed in a throwaway line, you know no one gives a crap about the narrative.

The movie instead focuses on the misjudged gross out humour and eye candy, obviously trying to emulate the success of 21 Jump Street, and missing the point completely. The reason that movie work was because it was in on the joke. It knew remaking the show was a ridiculous endeavour, especially since hardly anyone remembered it, so ripped it into itself at every turn. Baywatch isn’t that self aware, painfully so. Gordon and the cast approach the subject matter with a reverence that is almost commendable, if the finished product wasn’t so painful to endure. Each gross out joke, from dicks getting stuck in lounge chairs to Zac Efron forced to hold a flaccid penis in his hand (a lot of dick jokes in this movie. Not the body part you’d think they’d rely on, is it?), hits with the impact of a bone dry sponge, and the action that is peppered throughout doesn’t fare much better, not helped by the incredibly bad green screen subbing in for real locations.

Lazy and unfunny, Baywatch is the worst example of this new trend for R-Rated t.v. show remakes. Avoid at all costs.






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The Movie Bit: Baywatch Review
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