FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Baywatch (2017)


I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Baywatch

Paramount Pictures

Devoted lifeguard and local hero Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) butts heads with a cocky new recruit, shamed gold medal Olympic swimmer Matt Brody (Zac Efron).

Brody also struggles to get along with seasoned professionals Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and C. J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach), as well as fellow recruits Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) and Ronnie Greenbaum (Jon Bass).

However, Brody learns the importance of teamwork and humility when he and Mitch uncover a plot that threatens the bay, involving businesswoman Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra)…

One of many comedies based on TV shows that appeal to audiences who watched them as teens or are teens now, Baywatch fails to make a splash. Falling short of the standard set by similar ventures, such 21 Jump Street (2012), this incarnation of the popular beachside drama’s plot has not only been done before, but done better. A paint-by-numbers approach is not such an issue when it comes to light entertainment such as this, but it is simply not all that engrossing.

Most of the gags hit the mark (though the morgue sequence scrapes the bottom of the barrel) and the film is perfectly cast. Johnson and Efron demonstrate incredible rapport, engaging in amusing banter; Rohrbach and Bass also appear to be having plenty of fun—if only the audience could too.

Unsurprisingly, the film is aesthetically beautiful and nicely shot, but lots of wasted potential and a yawn-inducing script makes Baywatch more style than substance. 1½ / 5


Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Ilfenesh Hadera, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Rob Huebel, Hannibal Buress, Jack Kesy, Oscar Nunez, Amin Joseph, Belinda, Izabel Goulart, Logan Paul, Charlotte McKinney, Arian Foster, Seth Gordon, David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson.

Director: Seth Gordon | Producers: Ivan Reitman, Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz, Gregory J. Bonann, Beau Flynn | Writers: Damian Shannon, Mark Swift (story: Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant; based on Baywatch by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz, Gregory J. Bonann| Music: Christopher Lennertz | Cinematographer: Eric Steelberg | Editor: Peter S. Elliot


Available: DVD and Blu-ray.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!


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