Baywatch on the big screen follows a similar format to the frankly terrible small screen predecessor. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) is king of the lifeguards and behaves like a police officer whilst incredibly attractive women wear little and run in slow motion. In attempting to follow in the footsteps of 21 Jump Street and turn the preposterous plot into comedy gold the filmmakers have opted for a 15 rating and filled the film with F-bombs and sex jokes. Unfortunately, it lands closer in execution to this year’s other TV remake C.H.I.P.S. Given that virtually no one in the UK watched that film, it is worth pointing out this isn’t a great comparison.
The film starts well. The opening 20 minutes has some verve, introducing the characters, having a joke with the premise and using Dwayne Johnson’s charisma to good effect. But it’s all downhill from there. It’s rarely funny and falls into the same trashy plot of the TV show, despite this supposedly being the joke it is unable to cash in on it. Scenes on which a police officer tries to explain to the team that they are just lifeguards, should be hilarious but fall flat.
Zac Efron, now a sign of a poor comedy following Mike and Dave need wedding dates, Bad Neighbours 2 and Dirty Grandpa is completely wasted. Although perhaps not as wasted as the entire female cast whose entire job it is to look good wearing little.
Overall it is just a crushing disappointment on the glimmer of a good idea, after all, if the Baywatch TV series isn’t ripe for an ironic self-referential comedy I am not sure what is.