When Baywatch debuted on NBC in 1989, it was already antiquated. Constructed around a group of lifeguards saving swimmers from drowning while occasionally tracking down serial killers was thin at best. But with a gaggle of good-looking actors who took themselves too seriously, the ridiculous plots the writers came up with turned into television gold. How then to make a 21st century feature film reboot of the franchise ever more absurd and ridiculous? Answer: Hire a bunch of impossibly busty models, a couple of ripped hunks, let them ad-lib as much as possible, and hope for comedy.
The results are less than impressive. Starring Zac Efron as a more pathetic version of Olympic swimmer/screw-up Ryan Lochte, Dwayne Johnson as a gentler version of his Fast and Furious’ Hobbs character, Alexandra Daddario and Kelly Rohrbach as vacuous eye candy, and Jon Bass as the token fat kid with heart, Baywatch is an overly complicated bunch of nonsense stitched together by crappy CGI, a lackluster drug ring subplot, and Johnson’s character droning on about the importance of family. The tone jockeys back and forth between self-aware and self-serious, refusing to land anywhere in the vicinity of a silly summer comedy.
Baywatch is in wide release.