Baywatch (2017) – Review

Bouncing boobs and The Rock can’t save this drowning franchise.

Did anyone actually ask for Baywatch to be rebooted? For younger audiences, they’ll simply know it as that show with David Hasselhoff and slo-mo running along the beach. Sure, those who watched the original TV series at its peak may jump straight into the water, but this is a superficial, if mildly amusing mess.

In order to expose a grand drug-dealing, property-focused scandal, lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) must band together his heroic team, with newcomer Matt Brody (Zac Efron), to stop it.

© – Paramount Pictures

Johnson, being granted the leeway to drop f-words, clearly has plenty of fun with his role, but despite being the highlight here – and of pretty much everything he’s in – it’s all a bit of a waste of time. His feisty sidekick, played by Efron, is an Olympic gold medalist on probation for an unknown crime. Don’t worry about needing to know that though, since it is never really described or focused on. The twisted buddy dynamic our two leads share starts off terrifically, with Johnson hitting Efron with multiple verbal rock bottoms, but it wears as thin as their spandex in no time.

The writing across the board is dire, at times trying to be edgy but failing – after a discussion of stingrays leads, a desperately distasteful “Steve Irwin, RIP!” is uttered. There are a few genuinely funny moments throughout, such as Johnson describing a man’s genitals as his “beef and biscuits”, but overall, its only slightly better than an arse crack full of sand.

© – Paramount Pictures

Oh and the rest of the cast; wouldn’t think about them that much since they could be written off as decorations. Jon Bass fills the chubby funny wannabe role, but lacking any ingenuity or purity in his humour, coming across like a failed comic. Our other lifeguards are given next to no attention, particularly shameful when you have stars such as Alexandra Daddario on offer. At one point she gets a big hero moment, which turns out to be a dream sequence. Simply put, with the amount of slo-mo running and bouncing boobs, is their only purpose to keep moviegoers interested throughout an outrageous two hour running time? Undoubtedly.

It’s not the worst film to grace screens this year, but it just gets so much wrong for it to be considered anywhere near a success. For example, this may have worked if it was clearly a loving take on a classic series, or if it was a straight up action-comedy flick – but it tries to do both, poorly. Not to mention the insultingly bad CGI used in even the most basic of scenes, everything presented has next-to-no impact.

To sum it up…

It won’t hurt you, but it’s two hours of your life you could spend doing something actually worthwhile. Slo-mo run away from the cinema this time. 


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Author: Cameron Frew

Published by

Cameron Frew

Freelance film writer. Words on Flickering Myth, Bloody Disgusting, Movie Corner UK and Jumpcut Online. My five favourite films are: 1. The Goonies 2. Forrest Gump 3. The Shawshank Redemption 4. Warrior 5. Whiplash

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