With big time actors Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (“Fast and Furious”) and Zac Efron (“The Lucky One”), “Baywatch” (for many fans) raised the hope of a hilarious summer action comedy. Unfortunately, it didn’t come close to reaching these standards and left the audience wondering if a plot could be even more uncreative than this one.
Director Seth Gordon (“Horrible Bosses”) based this film off the late ‘90s television series starring David Hasselhoff. Though canceled after its first season, it became a popular show; even members of the television show “Friends” would watch the original slow-motion shot of beautiful people running on the beach. However, the popularity of the ‘90s show will not be shared with the latest version.
Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) is the chief lifeguard of the Baywatch crew, a legend and hero within the Emerald Bay he protects. Mitch, along with the rest of his gorgeous baywatch crew (including swimsuit model Kelly Rohrbach), holds tryouts for new recruits. Possible candidates including the disgraced Olympic swimmer Matt Brody (Efron), by-the-book Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario, "San Andreas") and local nerd Ronnie Greenbaum (Jon Bass, "Loving").
Although Mitch’s character has an aura of mystery and god-like abilities, the majority of the characters are one-dimensional, and the character development is annoyingly predictable. Matt was self-serving but learns to work with others. Summer follows the rules but discovers that breaking them can be for the greater good. Ronnie, a total geek, somehow overcomes the impossible and gets with a hot girl. It's a regurgitation of the main storylines seen in cinema over and over again.
While the idea of "Baywatch" is comical, the delivery failed to make the audience laugh out loud. The only sound to be heard is an occasional small noise produced by blowing air out of one’s nose at something halfway amusing. The material of the movie is weak, superficial and unsurprising. The ending was already known 10 minutes into the movie.
However, the film is not a total waste. Efron is truly a “blue-eyed demon” as labeled in the movie. He is reason enough to see "Baywatch." The big screen was made to look at his countless abs and killer smile. Johnson, packed with even more muscle than Efron, is also a favorite to watch. From movies like “The Game Plan” and “Moana,” there is something about his warm and friendly demeanor that is always so enjoyable to watch.
The girls, too, are absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, leaving you with a whole new definition of swimsuit goals. They are so perfect that they will probably leave you cringing at the site of your own summer body readiness. Hopefully, they can serve as some motivation to hit the gym and skip the junk food.
If you like a groundbreaking, makes-you-ponder movie, steer far away from “Baywatch.” But if you feel like shutting off your brain for a few hours to watch a simple plot with beautiful people, then “Baywatch” is your summer flick.