Directed By: Seth Gordon
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra
What you see is what you get with Baywatch, a movie based on the TV series from the late 80s/early 90s. The show takes place in the fictional Emerald Bay, Florida, a seeming Miami substitute, and follows Mitch Buchannon as he tries to protect the beach he loves.
One of the best things about this movie is the fact that it seems to realize that its source material, a show that took itself seriously when it aired, as aged into something of a fine cheddar over time, and makes itself into a nice cracker with which to enjoy the nostalgia of what was ultimately a completely ridiculous show. The cast seems to be having a blast, which shines through in the performances. They know they’re not making great cinema, and they’re okay with that, which helps make it okay for the viewers to find the humor.
The storyline is somewhat predictable. Johnson’s Buchannon is an overzealous lifeguard lieutenant who has made it his job to not only protect people in the water, but out of it as well. This becomes a problem for Chopra’s Victoria Leeds, who’s determined to found a drug/real estate empire out of her club on the beach, all because she has daddy issues (and yes, she actually tells another character that she’s doing this because her father left the family’s legitimate business to her idiot brother, and she wants to show the world that women are just as capable of being successful). Along the way, the Baywatch Lifeguard station (company?) is taking applications for new hires, including Efron’s Matt Brody (a washed up former Olympian with disciplinary issues) and Daddario’s Summer Quinn. There are also cameos by David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson, who are probably both still best known for their roles on the show.
All in all, the movie is highly enjoyable to watch. As stated before, the cast seemed to be having fun while filming, and the movie doesn’t take itself seriously enough to be considered actually bad. More in line with so-bad-it’s-actually-kind-of-good. The effects aren’t too complex, so there wasn’t much to mess up in that department. Definitely check this out when you want something light and funny and you don’t want to think too hard.
Baywatch isn’t currently free to stream, but can be rented from Redbox, as well as Netflix home-delivery video services.