Is there anything Hollywood won’t remake? There is such a seeded fear in movie studios on betting on an original story, instead we keep getting delivered with remakes, reboots, prequels, sequels, and spin-offs; you wonder if there’s any point in being a creative filmmaker anymore. The latest rehash to illuminate our screens is Baywatch, a remake of the tawdry 90s TV show.
Baywatch looks at a group of lifeguards on the American West Coast led by Mitch (Dwayne Johnson) who takes his job incredibly seriously. This professional group is forced to accept Olympic gold medalist Matt Brody (Zac Efron) into its ranks after the athlete is convicted and forced to serve community service hours. The film then revolves around how these lifeguards uncover a drug ring on their very beaches being run by the evil Victoria (Priyanka Chopra).
I’ll start out with the positives, and that’s the cast. If you were to give me the same set of actors on a completely separate comedy, this film would have been a hit. Instead, Efron and Johnson are left to struggle with the brick of a script. Even worse, the bland storyline and directing made it so that we couldn’t see any breakout performances from two actors with incredible potential in this film: Jon Bass and Kelly Rohrbach.
The main problem with the film was that it was taking a concept that was already being ridiculed in the 90s, and instead of satirizing it the filmmakers tried to take it seriously. This leads to many of the jokes falling completely flat, and much of the comedy ends up relying on overused themes of dick and fart jokes. The best laughs in the film really come from clearly improvised scenes between the actors, if it weren’t for that I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to get up and leave.
I have to confess that I had some positive expectations for Baywatch, the pairing of Johnson and Efron, two actors that have proved their adaptability to comedy, was one ripe for exploiting. But instead the creative team behind the camera gave us a half-assed effort that is one of the laziest movies I’ve seen these past years.