When in need of a good laugh and a film that will only give you two hours to turn off your brain, Baywatch is the movie that will do just that.
Strongly advertised and buzzed in the industry as the Hollywood remake of the homonymous popular 1990’s TV series, Baywatch is the modern take on the famous series which launched heroes running on a beach in slow motion to save lives.
Lieutenant Mitch Butchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and his lifeguard squad are famous for protecting the beach and the community day after day. Thieves and danger are their bread and butter, and their courage is admired by everyone, except the police, who want them away from their jurisdiction.
However, a new crime lord is in town, the determined and cold blooded Victoria Leeds. And Mitch, Stephenie, CJ and the new recruits won’t stay away from danger in order to keep Baywatch safe.
As far as action packed comedy movies go, Baywatch ticks all the boxes to be an entertaining film that provides two hours of laugh and mindless amusement.
Apart from being filled with action scenes and explosions left and right, the strongest point of the film is its comic thread.
It is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and it exploits the male gaze. An aspect which was dominant in the original tv series, by overusing close ups on the bikini clad bodies of the main actresses and making fun of the slow motion that was always implemented when the Baywatch team was running to save the day.
The whole cast is victim and maker of the many jokes used in the film. However, Zac Efron’s character is the one that gets targeted the most. Matt Brody gets all the nicknames on the book, from One direction to High school musical ones, alluding at Efron’s former career as a teenage heartthrob.
Brody himself is made out of every American cliché possible. He is cocky and believes that he can get away with everything because he is an Olympic medalist. Underneath all that arrogance, however, we discover loyalty and courage. He is just a lost guy looking to redeem himself and Efron is capable of portraying all these conflicting aspects, making his character evolve throughout the film.
In spite of always being portrayed on camera as almost naked, with their bodies over exposed, all the female characters have strong personalities and they are there as equals to the male protagonists. They don’t shy away from making dirty jokes and even though one would think that this particular product is filled with double standards, all the heroines think out of the box and out of the gender norms.
Dwayne Johnson carries the film on his shoulders and his character functions as the moral compass for the rest of the cast. He is respected by the team and feared by his enemies. Mitch believes in tough love and teamwork. He encourages his recruits and is not afraid of putting them in their places, especially Brody.
As one can expect from a Seth Gordon’s movie, Baywatch is the perfect mix between action and comedy. He pays tribute to the original tv series with a couple of nice cameos and easter eggs throughout the movie. He is capable of creating a film that entertains the audience with self-deprecating humor and the right amount of explosions and a plot that doesn’t feel too trivial.
Baywatch is out now in every UK cinema.