The Dose: New summer comedy is a disposable ‘Baywatch’

The Dose: New summer comedy is a disposable ‘Baywatch’

The Dose: New summer comedy is a disposable ‘Baywatch’
May 29
18:19 2017

Summer is coming.

Brace yourself moviegoers, as we’re yet again being shown another movie revival of a ’90s TV show with a pretty stacked cast and an R rating. But watch with caution, because this isn’t “21 Jump Street” in terms of quality and setting.

The movie’s plot is as simple as it gets. Dwayne Johnson plays the leader of the lifeguard team in an undisclosed beach in California, known as Baywatch. Accompanying the team is the Olympian-turned-washout played by Zac Efron, and the pair set aside differences to take down the head of a drug trafficking leader (Priyanka Chopra).

The cast does their best with the material they have, with notable performances by Johnson and Efron trying to emasculate each other for most of the movie’s runtime. Chopra’s performance falls certainly flat in the film as she is nowhere near as threatening or dangerous as she wants to appear, being the femme fatale who threatens the beaches.

The movie plays out exactly like its ’90s source material, whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. There are cheesy dramatic moments throughout, tensions between team members and the occasional green-screened action scene that looks like it could have been filmed in 1995.

The “Baywatch” humor is nowhere as sharp or meta as its predecessors, “21 Jump Street” or “22 Jump Street,” were. The main difference was that these jokes mostly rely on pop culture references from the last year or two that can be easily forgotten in the next month or so. But there are still bright glimpses of witty comedy throughout the film, which isn’t perfect, but it’s something.

However, my main problem with the film is, although it may be intentional because of its source material, that the cast in the entire film is nothing more than attractive bodies with lines and no characterization. Sure, there are glimpses of the usual, satisfactory action comedy clichés, but in the movie, it’s 50 percent actors and actresses running around in slow motion in bathing suits or scantily clad outfits, 30 percent of the cast just flexing or flaunting their bodies for a “joke” and the other 20 percent consisting of white boy jokes aimed at Efron.

I may be going a little bit more harsh on the movie than I should be. There is some enjoyment to watching it, especially with a talented cast as shown. But come in with really low expectations, because this is definitely a disposable watch. After the first watch, I don’t think you would ever really want to see this movie again.

Featured Image: Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson lead an all-star cast in the film adaptation of “Baywatch.” Paramount Pictures.

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Michael Vu

Michael Vu

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