Directed by: Seth Gordon | Produced by: Ivan Reitman, Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz, Gregory Bonann, Beach Flynn | Screenplay by: Damian Shannon, Mark Swift | Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Priyanka Chopra | Music by: Christopher Lennertz | Cinematography by: Eric Steelberg | Edited by: Peter Elliott | Production Company: Paramount Pictures, Contrarian, The Montecito Picture Company, Vinson Pictures, Seven Bucks Production, Flynn Company, Cold Spring Pictures | Distributed by: Paramount Pictures, Shanghai Film Group, Huahua Pictures | official website
When it comes to another movie remake, you cannot move on so far from its original story. Or charm. Or the main attraction why people are decided to watch this movie at the first time. On this movie, the charm itself lies upon their casts, and their abs, biceps and cleavage, and thanks to Dwayne Johnson’s friendly smile, this movie is a bit far from total destruction. Or at least he saves what he could save, instead of letting the other things fall apart.
You don’t watch Baywatch for the plot, I do truly understand that. I also understand that the original TV series that aired on 1990s wasn’t take the plot seriously too, as long as they have Hasselhoff’s manly figure and Pamela Anderson’s cups. Enter then Dwayne Johnson as the next generation of Mitch Buchannon (I don’t even know why they give the same name to him if they also want to do Hasselhovian cameo), a friendly and dedicated lifeguard who has taken his job as his life. Anderson’s role of CJ Parker is handled by Kelly Rohrbach, who’s been oversexualized over her slow motion run that seems to be Baywatch’s trademark over the years. To freshen the line up, enter three new recruits: retired Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Brody (Zac Efron), smart marine biologist Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario, who had been awkwardly casted as Johnson’s daughter on San Andreas (2015)) and tech nerd Ronnie (Jon Bass).
The plot is quite simple, as seems that they wholeheartedly know that the audience would take the plot lightly. The Baywatch team must team up against smart club owner, drug dealer and property queen Victoria Leeds (played beautifully by Priyanka Chopra). Leeds is actually a good villainess: she has charm, looks good on tight silk dress that I almost think she could be one of that Baywatch team, and she is determined to get what she wants. The minus is she doesn’t look intimidating enough. Chopra is fine, sexy and fulfill the requirements of being on one screen with all those good looking actors, but her villainy doesn’t show what is the impact other than Johnson’s saying that it’s worse than coccaine.
This movie relies so much on Dwayne Johnson as the other actors keep on flailing on showing their character. However, since all the emotions are carried upon Johnson’s shoulders, almost all scenes that supposed to be funny turns out failing successfully. Despite of Johnson keeps calling him with nicknames like “One Direction”, “Bieber”, “NSYNC” until “High School Musical”, Zac Efron is nothing more than just a pretty face (and a ripped body) that tries too hard to look dumb and ask for your pity. Efron cannot bring out the comedy he should have performed through his character. Not to mention the comedy they try to bring out in bullying Jon Bass, or the oversexualized images of all the actresses.
So overall this is the Baywatch we have longed to see since 1990s, a better version, but still a soulless movie. They hint sequel so let’s just pray they will make a better one next time.