If you were lucky enough (I suppose) to have watched any of the Baywatch television show during its 11 season run, then you know that it never took itself too seriously. The new comedy reboot, simply called Baywatch, takes the silliness to new depths. Just know going in that comedy comes first and foremost here.
Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) runs a tight ship on his beachfront territory with safety always coming first. Having said that, his team often muddies the waters by getting involved in situations that fall well beyond expected normal lifeguard duties. When the time comes to expand their team, one new addition in particular, seems to the absolute wrong fit for the job. Matt Brody (Zac Efron) is all about himself but will have to learn to play well with others if he has any chance of falling back into favor with the public eye. Mitch, the superhero in swim trunks, must bring the ego in a Speedo, back down to calmer waters if there’s any chance of working as a team. Saving wayward swimmers, surfers and otherwise ends up being the easier tasks at hand once Mitch’s team stumbles upon some real dangers on this beach.
Baywatch is part of the growing trend of old television shows being rebooted and reformed as feature length movies. Lately, it’s all about going all out in a R-rated blasphemous binge. Sometimes it works (21 Jump Street (2012)) and other times, not so much (Miami Vice (2006)). We live a day and age where new ideas seem hard to come by so rebooting and re-imagining are preferential paths. Having a strong cult following should bode well here as there are many compelling reasons to give this one a chance.
Firstly, you can’t go wrong with bringing on Dwayne Johnson to be your building block. He seems unable to do any wrong these days and everyone really seems to like him. He’s physically imposing and is a real bad-ass when it comes to action. The fact that he’s also charming and a natural with comedy keeps his stock at an extremely elevated level. Secondly, Zac Efron is another one of actors that makes a certain demographic swoon and often proves that he isn’t just another pretty face.
Baywatch is mostly about the comedy but it doesn’t neglect action nor does it ignore trying to construct a believable plot. While it isn’t the plausible story (as if the show EVER was), it’s still one is interesting. Rarely does this group miss an opportunity to get the audiences laughing the absurdity what unfolds. No one here is trying to be more serious than they need to be so audiences show go in just looking for some laughs and action. While the story stands on its own, there are many shout-outs to the original that should get a few extra laughs and/or smiles.
All this movie really tries to be is a couple of fun hours with some mature comedy, cool action and some childish comedy. Don’t take what you’re seeing too seriously and just go with it. This is a great way to start to enjoy Spring season with a few smiles. Get ready to laugh as you fate in the hands of the men and women of Baywatch. In theaters now.