Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario
Release Date: August 29, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
When a dangerous crime wave hits the beach, legendary Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson, The Fate of the Furious) leads his elite squad of badass lifeguards on a mission to prove you don’t have to wear a badge to save the bay. Joined by a trio of hot-shot recruits including former Olympian Matt Brody (Zac Efron, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising), they’ll ditch the surf and go deep undercover to take down a ruthless businesswoman (Priyanka Chopra, TV’s “Quantico”), whose devious plans threaten the future of the bay.
Prepare to hit the beach once again with the new, raunchy film adaption of the infamous television series ‘Baywatch’. Following the daily heroism of the local lifeguards who repeatedly go above and beyond the call of duty, when Mitch (Johnson) and his team uncover numerous signs of disturbing criminal activity along their beach, they naturally ignore the repeated warnings from local law enforcement, intent to uncover the truth and find those who are responsible for tainting their beach. With three new, and drastically opposite rookie lifeguards added to the roster including a stuck up gold medal winner (Efron), this new group must learn to put their differences aside and work as a true team if they are to risk their lives and go undercover in order to put these ruthless criminals away for good, and of course subsequently clean up their beloved beach.
Directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) from a screenplay written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (the duo previously collaborated on screenplays such as ‘Freddy vs. Jason’), Gordon does a solid job at the helm of ‘Baywatch’ guiding this simple, yet funny and quite fun little reboot film along with ease. The film also owes plenty of credit to the well selected cast that allows it to be as entertaining and hilarious as it is and includes Dwayne Johnson (The Fate of the Furious), Zac Efron (Neighbors), Alexandra Daddario (San Andreas), Kelly Rohrbach (TV’s Rizzoli & Isles), Jon Bass (Loving), plus cameos from series stars David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson, along with more, the majority delivering fitting and humorous performances in each of their respective roles.
The trend of rebooting all of your favorite shows into over the top, raunchy film parodies of themselves continues and the latest recreation is the famous lifeguard series ‘Baywatch’ which starred David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson (both of which naturally make obligatory cameos in the film). This new, vulgar and amusing take may not be anything groundbreaking, exceptional or even really very good by most standards, yet it somehow still manages to pull you in and I couldn’t help but have a great deal of fun with ‘Baywatch’ which also had no trouble eliciting numerous laugh out loud moments. As opposed to attempting to recreate the well known show into something new and carefully toned, it instead opts for having as much with itself as possible and only seems to worry about toning the onscreen bodies in bathing suits and the flood of offensive jokes they toss out. Surprisingly, its concentration on these familiar basics allows it to work splendidly as a goofy, carefree and hilarious two hours of silly and pointless fun that you can’t help but love when approaching the movie expecting nothing more. Director Seth Gordon does a solid job guiding this goofy and simplistic tale along and the movie only benefits further from a funny and well selected cast led by Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron who make quite the stellar and hilarious pair. While many folks probably won’t have any interest in this one whatsoever, I would encourage those who appreciate a raunchy, simple and carelessly fun comedy that delivers plenty of laughs to give this one a whirl, along with any hardcore fans of Johnson, Efron or other members of the key cast. Albeit far from perfect, ‘Baywatch’ should have no trouble keeping you amused throughout its duration, especially if you approach it with minimal expectations.
Overall, this new (and far more vulgar) take on the classic series ‘Baywatch’ is a simplistic, uninventive and yet also immensely fun and funny little movie that while by no means a great (or even necessarily good) film nonetheless knows precisely what it intends to be and embraces it, forming together into a surprisingly hilarious and continually enjoyable little ride that had no trouble keeping me consistently laughing from start to finish. Many individuals will probably (and understandably) want to go ahead and pass on ‘Baywatch’ if it doesn’t already spark your interest or if you don’t tend to appreciate senseless and excessively vulgar comedies without anything noteworthy or new to contribute. I would recommend it though to anyone who does appreciate movies just such as that and/or those who may be huge fans of Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron or other members of the leading cast. Make no mistake, it’s not a good movie, but it has no problem with that and embraces its goofy and careless tone to amusing success and certainly manages to be one incredibly fun little flick regardless of (and perhaps even partially because of) its faults that I’ll surely be revisiting a number of times down the road.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Baywatch’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio for both the Theatrical and Extended Cut’s of the film. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and provides a brightly colored, remarkably detailed and nearly flawless video presentation throughout that suffers no noticeable faults of any kind along the way. It holds up phenomenally even during the fast moving and heavily populated scenes and never causes anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected in any way. Overall, this is a truly impressive high definition video presentation from Paramount that’s once again complimented by a more than sufficient bitrate and should have zero trouble thrilling even the pickiest of individuals.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack on both versions of the film. Please note that this review pertains solely to the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This lossless multichannel soundtrack offers another layer of fun to the overall viewing experience and delivers a crisp, clean and consistently active audio presentation from start to finish. It takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send water crashing, along with action effects, crowd chatter, music and plenty more throughout the various channels with regularity, and never allowing any dialogue or other simultaneously occurring auditory activity to become distorted or rendered inaudible as a result. Overall, this is an outstanding and incredibly fun Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers on all levels and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Baywatch’ includes a few entertaining extras. Included on the release is a collection of ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 10 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a few behind the scenes Featurettes that include behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and a crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Meet the Lifeguards’ (running approximately 22 minutes), ‘Continuing the Legacy’ (approximately 9 minutes) and ‘Stunts and Training’ (9 minutes).