Baywatch hasn’t been a great success generally. The critics have given it low scores and the overall audience reviews have been mixed, but I have to say I enjoyed this mess of a film. The acting wasn’t good and the story wore thin after a while, but there is a charm about this movie that left me feeling happy I went to go see it.
The film starts off with sunset shots of Emerald Bay, then takes us to Mitch Buchannon, played by Dwayne Johnson, starting his shift watching the bay. Almost instantly Mitch is thrown into action with having to save a wind surfer who has been caught in a crosswind, sending him off his board and head first into some rocks. Mitch, with no delay, runs to his rescue in the slowest motion you have ever seen, showing him sprint down the cove and diving into the water to catch the sinking surfer, to then emerge out of the ocean with the surfer in his hands. As we see Buchannon come out of the ocean, still in slow motion may I add, ‘Baywatch’ appears behind him, along with some dolphins flipping in front. This first 2 minutes of the film did have me worried. All I was thinking was that I am no snob to a cheesy film, but this cheese may have been a bit too mature for my liking.
After this over-the-top intro the film did take it down a much required notch, where we see Mitch and his Baywatch team preparing tryouts to fill 3 spots required for the squad. Here, we get introduced to not only the bay-watching team, which consists of Mitch, who we have already seen, CJ who is played by Kelly Rohrbach and Stephanie played by Ilfenesh Hadera, but Alexandra Daddario’s character Summer Quinn and Ronnie Greenbaum, played by Jon Bass. I have to say I enjoyed this team very much. There was good chemistry, and I think their enjoyment of working together really shined through. As we are aware though, this isn’t the whole team - there is one more addition, and that is Matt Brody played by the one and only Zac Efron.
Unlike Summer and Ronnie, Matt is given a free pass into the team due to his background of being a 2 time olympic gold medal winner for 200 metre swimming, which Mitch is not happy with, therefore causing an instance clash with the leading males. This dynamic between the two characters is something that creates the spine of the film, whilst the sub plot starts to unfold.
Emerald Bay may be fun and beautiful but there is also some dodgy stuff going down, which the Baywatch team will not stand for, and that is drugs being sold on their front door. Instead of leaving this crime to the police, Mitch and the team decide to take it upon themselves to solve the mystery of where these narcotics are coming from. I think this is where the film fell short for a lot of people as well as the critics, but for me personally it was as I was expecting. It is based off an extremely farfetched TV show, therefore in turn, was always going to be bit out-there, but I don't think this was the aim of the film. In my opinion the aim was meant to be a light, fun film, with a bit of eye candy, which I think it accomplished well enough.
Was this film all good? Of course not. It was far too long for its own good, and the cheese factor was high, but I enjoy films like this. Not every picture has to be an epic or have oscar award winning story and acting. The intention of this picture was just to have a bit of a laugh, and I certainly did, as long as you don't take it seriously. With Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron you get solid acting, and the new additions may not have set the world a light but they certainly weren’t bad considering many were fairly new faces to the big screen.
I can certainly see why this film was not an overall success but I do think people need to see it for themselves, and just take it for what it is and that is just a bit of fun, which is exactly how I found it.
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