Baywatch 2017 Review

Based on the much-loved ‘90s TV Series, Seth Gordon’s revival of Baywatch was bound to get a large amount of criticism, and many critics are not disappointing in this area.

When the arrogant Matt Brody (Zac Efron) wants to join the elite team of lifeguards, their leader, Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Jonson) is quick to buttheads with him. In a number of testosterone filled battles, the pair are quick to have to work together with the rest of the team once drugs and a new resort owner pose a threat to the bay. As a whole, the plot is filled with a number of twists and turns, and easily pads out the two hours of the film.

I feel I should start this review with a disclaimer.
If you are looking for a cinematic masterpiece with overly complex characters and a plot that makes me question the purpose of my life, you probably don’t want to bother buying a ticket to this film; however, if you are happy to watch a perfectly cheesy comedy with one-liners and stereotypes, this is ideal for you.

Paying both homage as well as parodying the original series, Baywatch is essentially a piss-take of itself, in a hilariously self-deprecating way. Fuelled with intelligent one liners and very immature humour (which my family and I enjoyed, but I believe many critics didn’t), Baywatch was obviously rather R-Rated, and has received a large amount of criticism when it comes to the way in which characters were treated and represented, but let me chuck in a slight controversial opinion here: I personally liked the way in which both the men and women are both objectified, and not just the women like everyone expected.

Many people have said that female characters were sidelined, but I must disagree with this. Obviously Zac Efron and Dwayne Jonson took centre roles; however, there was still a good character and gender balance, and the females were often hilarious and pretty badass. The females were not completely forced into support roles, and there was even a badass female villain, so I didn’t find this an issue at all.

The characters are not a key part of this film, and instead, there is more a focus on the humour and action scenes, but a key entity to these in the relationship between Zac Efron and Dwayne Jonson’s characters. Despite my pre-empted reservations about how well the pair of them could work together on screen, the chemistry they did in fact share was perfect. They completely juxtaposed one another, and I feel this only added to the humour more, and can’t quite think of a better pairing for the roles.

As expected, there are some incredible action scenes scattered throughout the film, which I believe many overlooked due to their lack of enjoyment with the humour. At times, I was sat on the edge of my seat as the fast-paced action was projected on the scene in front of me, and really enjoyed the way in which they were executed. On top of this, there are some beautiful shot choices, which again, many critics have ignored.

Based on what I had read and heard from film critics, I almost didn’t go to see this film, but I’m glad I did. I think some of the critics need to learn how to take a joke, as to me, it was an incredibly funny and light-hearted film, which is something that rarely appears in cinema today. From my own critical point of view, I almost don’t want it to be. This is the sort of film you can stick on if you just want to laugh, and I feel that there were even some strong messages amongst the humour to do with self-development and working within a team. Whether you are a previous fan of the ‘90s Baywatch or have never seen it before, there is a good balance of humour for both, and is modernised another for a newer audience.

Much to a majority of professional reviewers’ disagreement, I would whole-heartedly recommend this film to anyone who likes action-comedy movies, such as the Crank series.
(and even if you do end up hating it, the cast is full of beautiful people you can stare at for two hours.)


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