Popcorn Picks Review: “Baywatch”


Photo credit/ Paramount Pictures

Bethany Wade, Photography Editor

How many clichés, genres and plot points can you fit in one movie? With “Baywatch,” you lose count.

The film remake of the 1990s TV action series stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron. It follows the story of Mitch Buchannon, played by Johnson, the lieutenant lifeguard on the Baywatch patrol, as he deals with managing his new recruits while also trying to take down a drug ring.

If only the details of this movie were that simple. Instead, Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, the creators of the story for the film, chose to throw in as many plot points as possible, which results in the film becoming a weird action/drama hybrid that doesn’t make much sense.

On top of that, screenplay writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift tried to turn the film into a raunchy R-rated comedy, packed full of obvious callbacks to the original show. Between the nonsense plot, the clichéd, one-dimensional characters and the film trying to be three different genres, the script makes no sense. With six different people working on the script, it’s comparable to six life guards trying to save one person who is drowning.

The actors make do with what they’re given. Johnson is known for his action films, and his portrayal of the Emerald Bay veteran lifeguard feels natural. Efron is in his element when it comes to the comedic elements, but he falls short in the action sequences. The rest of the cast does a fair job, but their performances are forgettable.

As a special treat to Baywatch fans, there are two cameos from original cast members that were not advertised and are stand out moments in the film.

One A+ moment of the film is the cameo appearance by the original Mitch Buchannon, David Hasslehoff. In an appearance as a mentor to Johnson’s character, he gives a pep talk that is not only inspirational, but also makes fun of the flaws in Johnson’s portrayal as well.

Overall, the film tries to fit too much into its two-hour runtime, causing every moment that could be great to go by too fast. The original show is most known for its slow-motion sequences with the cast running on the beach. Maybe the crew needs to take a lesson from the Baywatch lifeguards in slow-motion.

Rating: Two kernels out of five.

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Twitter: @BethanyWadeTWW