Movie Review: Baywatch

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28 years ago, TV audiences worldwide were introduced to one of the most iconic (don’t deny it) television shows ever produced. That show was “Baywatch.”

It had everything people looked for in a series: sunny-side beaches, exceptionally good-looking people, crime-fighting action scenes and exceptionally good-looking people — oh wait I already said that…

After the show ended in 2000, it went on to live in TV history… until now. With reboots being the latest craze in Hollywood right now, it’s no surprise that “Baywatch” is getting a modern update for a whole new generation of audiences and I have no shame in admitting that this was easily my most anticipated movie of the summer (shut up). And while it may not have been the grand epic I was hoping for, “Baywatch” is still a lot of fun to watch and it delivers one-liners so good that they give the “Fast and the Furious” franchise a run for its money.

After two dead bodies wash ashore, Lieutenant Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and his team of equally good-looking lifeguards take it upon themselves to get to the bottom of what they believe to be a conspiracy forming to shut down their beach, though no one else, including the police, believes them.

As far as story goes, the plot isn’t all that original or great. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before and I have no problem admitting that this movie has a lot of flaws. Normally in my reviews, I always focus on the bad and good aspects of a film but this time around, I’m going to skip over the negatives because to be honest, the flaws that I would point out would only be a real issue if I didn’t know what kind of movie I was going into. If I was expecting a serious Oscar contender that was going to change my life, then I would have absolutely hated it. No, I wanted to see a movie that was nothing more than an action-packed, raunchy, fun, summer film and that is exactly what I got out of it so I really can’t complain.

“Baywatch” is funny. It’s simple as that. From the second the opening titles began I found myself chuckling and as the movie went on I only laughed more and more and harder each time. I don’t think I stopped laughing the entire time and the one-liners that the movie gives us are classic. Most of the movies humor relies heavily on the one-liners given and for the most part they succeed with only a few minor misses. Another thing about the film’s humor is how self-aware it is. There are numerous jokes about how they are simply just lifeguards and it is not their job to be doing the things they are doing. There are jokes about how lifeguarding are portrayed to be the kind of job where your life is put on the line every single day and you know, it is, because this is “Baywatch.”

There are quite a few physical gag jokes that happen but I’ll stay quiet on those so they aren’t ruined for you. If you happen to read this before you really see any of them, I would advise you to avoid watching all the trailers they’ve released for this movie because it’ll make it that much funnier for you to watch.

As funny as this movie was, the real shining moment in this movie is the comedic duo that is Johnson and Zac Efron. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one hell of a funny guy. He’s one of the few celebrities I can say I’d genuinely want to hang out with because he’d be a fun time. He really lets his comedic chops fly in this movie and really — if it’s possible for a movie like this — he’s the heart and soul of the entire thing. You can tell he had a fun time making this movie and you can also tell he really gave it all he’s got and put on his try-hard pants and the end result pays off.

As Matt Brody, the newest member to the Baywatch team, Efron continues to show us that he really is no longer that goofy kid from “High School Musical.” With films such as “Neighbors” and “Mike and Dave need wedding dates,” we’ve already learned that he’s capable of putting a comedy on his (very broad) shoulders and carrying it with ease and he does it again with this movie. It helps that he has the Rock to help him carry it but he still stands out on his own. Efron really has come along away and is probably one of the most — if not THE most — successful  Disney star to smoothly transition into a Hollywood career. He’s on his way to becoming a big star and I don’t see him going away anytime soon. I can’t think of anyone who’s had a more dramatic career change and not have it hurt them.

Johnson and Efron make quite the pair and the comedic timing they bring is nothing but exceptional and even when the jokes weren’t that funny, they still made me laugh due to the way both actors performed them. I would love to see a movie where Johnson and Efron team again and even bring in Kevin Hart for it… that would be Hollywood gold right there. Maybe in the sequel?

“Baywatch” is not a perfect film and it’s not going to be for everyone. It’s raunchy and at times borderline offensive so you really need to make sure you leave your sensitivity at the door when you walk in. But if you can have the right sense of humor and attitude going into I think you’ll enjoy yourself quite a bit. And even if you hate it, at least you get to spend almost two hours of your time staring at some of the most beautiful men and women you’ll ever see. I’m not even kidding, no movie will ever make you question your sexuality (or manhood… I really need to lift more) like this one does. The movie is filled with a number of those classic slow motion beach run scenes everyone knows and loves and I admit I had no problem with any of them, especially when the absolutely stunning (STUNNING!) Kelly Rohrbach spends what feels like the entire movie moving in slow motion.

With fun action sequences, spot on one-liners, and cameo appearances by the original shows two biggest stars, “Baywatch” is pretty much everything you could hope for in a summer movie. While it didn’t quite live up to my expectations, mainly due to the feeling of one too many characters being on-screen and the semi anti-climactic final battle, I still enjoyed every minute.

The bottom line: If you want a movie to go see this summer that will make you laugh and also serve as the biggest motivation you could ask for to hit the gym, then run (very slowly) to a movie theater near you, sit back and enjoy the very beautiful view.

Keithariaz1@gmail.com