Movie Review: “Baywatch”
Lifeguard tryouts are about to begin. Mitch (Dwayne Johnson) is the lifeguard's Lieutenant and he become somewhat of a local legend at the bay. He leads the team, consisting of CJ (Kelly Rohrbach) and Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hadera), as they oversee the lifeguard tryouts and train the newbies all while saving the lives and property of everyone on the beach. Former Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist Matt Brody (Zac Efron), Summer (Alexandra Daddario) and Ronnie (Jon Bass) make up the team of newbies and soon discover that being a lifeguard at this beach means more than just saving people from drowning. As multiple deaths start occurring at the beach, the team of lifeguards must learn how they are all connected and stop those responsible before more lives are lost on their baywatch.
The Pros & Cons
Victoria Leeds (-6pts)
The Plot (-6pts)
Pro: Training (+4pts)
This is one of the times where the movie was at its best. The movie gives us three newbies each with different motivations for being there and they are all essentially thrown into the fire as the chaos on this beach unfolds. I liked watching how each of these characters responded differently while trying to find their place on the team. I also enjoyed the comedy that came with the lack of experience of some of these characters. This part of the story does not last all that long but it was entertaining while it was happening.
Con: Victoria Leeds (-6pts)
This character, played by Priyanka Chopra, was probavly my least favorite part of this film. She plays the villain in this movie, but the character just did not work for me. She has terribly cheesy (in a bad way) one-liners, her storyline was predictable and (as a result) she was not intimidating. Thus character was a plot device more than anything else which is unfort because this would be a much better movie without her.
Pro: Comedy (+6pts)
This movie has some fun comedic moments and lines but it also has some ridiculous attempts at comedy that end up falling short. Most of the comedy that works involves Dwayne Johnson and Jon Bass. With Dwayne Johnson, the comedy comes from great one-liner insults directed at Zac Efron or ridiculous (in a good way) action. Seeing this movie, I cannot think of a better actor for this role than Dwayne Johnson. He looks the part and he plays the character well. The next major comedic element of the movie is Jon Bass. I did not think the actor brought anything incredible to the role but the comedy involving this character worked since it mostly involved laughing at the character's misfortune. I did not think there was any amazing comedy that blew me away but it made the movie much more entertaining when it worked.
Con: The Plot (-6pts)
This was a severely ridiculous and severely predictable plot. After the first five to ten minutes, I knew exactly how the entire rest of the movie would go (as far as major plot points were concerned). This was true for Dwayne Johnson's character as well as Zac Efron, Jon Bass and Kelly Rohrbach's characters. The rest of the characters got no significant character development which is unfortunate. Setting individual storylines aside, the overall plot of the film was even more predictable. Mix this with all of the ridiculous and cheesy moments and you have a relatively boring film that felt longer than it actually was.
Pro: Rescues (+4pts)
This was another area in which the movie was at its best. This movie has some cool rescue sequences that mix awesome action sequences with some cheesy humor. These sequences show the experienced lifeguards saving lives in fun-to-watch ways while showing the newbies stumble and fail in entertaining ways. While the plot was predictable, the "rescue missions" were continuously unique from each other which helped keep the movie feeling fresh. While I do not think that this was enough to make up for the lack of a decent plot, I do think that these sequences were some of the better and more memorable parts of the film.
Con: Genre (-6pts)
This movie could have been a great comedy or a great action-comedy but it's downfall was trying to be both. I know that may sound weird but a good action-comedy has plenty of action and is sprinkled with some jokes throughout. A comedy can have some action but it's major focus is on the humor. This movie tries to have an action focused plot with cool action sequences but it tries to also have a "laugh a minute" experience. The result is an action movie that does not take itself seriously in the worst way because it also results in the audience not taking it seriously and it tries to pack as much comedy as possible. The element that is neglected is the plot which is extremely important regardless of which genre gets more focus. This movie tries to balance too much and it ends up failing st doing so.
Grade: C- (71pts)
Baywatch is a movie that falls on the lower end of average. It had some good moments in the form of cool action, rescue sequences, humorous insults towards Zac Efron, a "training" storyline and comedy at the expense of Jon Bass' character. While all of those things are good and make the movie more entertaining, it all together was not enough to make up for a weak and predictable plot that cannot pick one genre to stick with. The villain was a one-note, cheesy and boring character which (mixed with a weak plot) made for a predictable movie that felt like it was going on forever.
I can safely say that this movie was not terrible, but it is certainly not worth your money in my opinion. So I would avoid going out to the theaters to see Baywatch and only recommend watching it if and when it hits Netflix so that you do not spend your hard earned money on it. It has some laughs and cool moments but cannot overcome it's poorly written script.