Everything I know about the original Baywatch I learnt through my Mum, & through Joey & Chandler watching it in Friends. But everyone knows the basics – a good trashy show about a group of crime fighting lifeguards who are all gorgeous & run in slow motion.
So to hear a remake was happening was a little bit intriguing, & to hear who it was going to be fronted by was EXCITING.
Seth Gordon directs dream team Dwayne Johnson & Zac Efron as the male leads, with the amazing Priyanka Chopra as the bad guy up against the Baywatch team; made up of Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Ruhrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera & Jon Bass.
It’s a reboot of the classic television series, reincarnating some old characters as well as introducing new ones:
Matt Brody is a once beloved American champion who’s had a massive downfall. Zac Efron plays him excellently – his comic timing is really brilliant actually. “I’m caucasian” is one of the funniest lines in it & he delivers it perfectly (in context it’s brilliant).
Priyanka Chopra needs to play a Bond villain & stat. She is gorgeously evil as Victoria Leeds, sassy & seductive & downright scary at times. Chopra stated in an interview that the role was written for a man, but director Seth Gordon changed his mind upon meeting her. YES.
The rest of the Baywatch squad consists of:
Stephanie – the boss. She’s the beautiful, vulnerable yet fierce & strong female that you will love. She’s not given nearly enough screen time but still every character insists she’s the best at the job, so you win some you lose some. Ilfenesh Hadera is totally convincing, really gorgeous & brilliant to watch.
CJ – this woman is the epitome of Baywatch Babe. She’s blonde with big boobs & a great butt & can swish her hair perfectly. She’s CJ from Baywatch. But this CJ has a lot more heart to her, & a more fleshed out character than Pamela Anderson’s who I hate to say, was a tad bit ‘dumb blonde’. She’s beautiful & knows it, but has a total heart of gold & Kelly Rohrbach balances it really well.
Summer – this is the woman you can relate too, who is still learning & isn’t an intimidating Baywatch babe. I really like Alexandria Daddario & think she was great in this role, & will definitely be keeping my eye out for her in the future.
Ronnie – like Summer, Ronnie is the relatable guy who doesn’t have a six pack & massive arms. He is treated a little hit as the joke for the expense of laughs, but throughout all the other characters draw on his strengths which is nice. Jon Bass is actually really heartwarming in an annoying sort of way as him.
There’s also minor roles from Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hannibal Buress, Rob Huebel & Oscar Nuñez (who are all good, obviously).
A big question for many (myself included), was how sexualised was it going to be? I can tell you that though yes, it is Baywatch & there is sexualisation, all of said sexualisation is consented by the characters – either carried out by themselves or at least acknowledged by them. CJ’s butt slap featured in the trailer is one of these.
At the end of the day yes it’s the whole Baywatch Babes idea but these are driven women with a believable purpose. It does give the idea a little bit more sustenance: & of course there is a lot of nudity from the men too.
The extras on the other hand are almost exclusively hot skinny women in bikinis – there are no average looking people on Miami beaches according to Baywatch. And yes – there are cameos from David Hasselhoff & Pamela Anderson.
The film is not good, but somehow you can’t help but enjoy it? It’s a pretty simple storyline that isn’t boring, & makes fun of the fact that these lifeguards think they’re the police.
The first twenty minutes or so was too prioritised with trying to make sure everyone knew it was going to be funny. There was a joke every two seconds, less than half of which were actually worth laughing at.
The rest of the story fleshes out okay & solves itself pretty smoothly. It doesn’t put too much into it & it all neatly & conveniently ties together by the end. It’s easy to watch for sure.
Actually a tiny shoutout to the costume department too – they maintained the now famous ‘Baywatch’ look of the tiny red swimsuits but actually made them a bit more wearable & actually more appropriate & wearable for a lifeguard. Big fan of the additions of long sleeve zip ups that Stephanie wears a lot.
In summary – will this film win any Oscars? No. Will you laugh at every single joke? No. But you will have a semi-decent time. At least I did – & that’s not just because there’s a lot of shirtless Dwayne Johnson.
It is my lowest ranked film of the year so far, but I enjoyed it because it wasn’t anything other than I was expecting, meaning no disappointment. It was just a silly, fun film to entertain you (& make you want to work out & go save lives at the beach).
Baywatch is in cinemas worldwide now.