Based on the popular television show of the same name, Baywatch follows Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a former Olympic swimmer who wants to join an elite team of lifeguards led by devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson). Brody thinks he’s a shoo-in, and his casual attitude starts to instantly rub Mitch the wrong way, but when drugs and a shady resort owner pose a threat to the bay, Mitch and Matt must put their differences aside to spring into action and save the day.
Now I haven’t ever seen the original Baywatch series but I know of it thanks to the many mentions it gets on Friends! So I know the basic premise is a lot of slow-motion running in tight swimwear – something which appeals to both genders…! I also know that David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson made their names from the show, and they do have small cameos near the end, so if you’re a fan of the original then you’ll be pleased. I went into this film with the lowest of expectations, it hadn’t received a lot of good press, and I fully expected to not like it. However, I was pleasantly surprised because Baywatch is actually a pretty decent film! The humour is silly and a little sexual but it never takes it too far so it’s crude, the story line is full of twists and turns and there are plenty of action scenes to keep you hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it’s one that both genders can appreciate.
Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson bring the male hotness – and there are plenty of topless scenes from both of them – and they also bring a lot of the laughs as the two guys constantly clash with each other. Dwayne’s character Mitch takes lifeguarding very seriously and doesn’t appreciate how Matt thinks he can just automatically join the team because of his status. Matt therefore pushes back against Mitch and tries to prove that he is the better man in all situations. Dwayne and Zac work very well together, their character’s annoyance with one another is clear to see and their comedy timing is brilliant. Zac plays the good-looking arrogant role perfectly, and though at first you kind of hate his character, he goes on a journey in which he starts to understand the benefits of working in a team.
The stunning women of the film include Summer (Alexandra Daddario), CJ (Kelly Rohrbach) and Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hadera) who all have enviable figures which they parade around in super small and super tight swimsuits. Yes there are a lot of slow-motion close-ups as they run down the beach but you can’t really say its sexism because the same amount is shown of the men too! Also the women aren’t just there for the sex appeal, they are as much a part of the action scenes as the guys. We don’t get much background to the girls except that Summer is a new recruit like Matt, the film very much centres around Matt and Mitch and their dynamic relationship.
Bringing the majority of the humour to the film is Ronnie (Jon Bass), who is ridiculously in love with CJ, but as a slightly chubby and unfit male, doesn’t stand a chance with her. However his poor fitness levels don’t stop him trying out for the lifeguard team every year and this year he impresses Mitch with his determination and is let in. His role is clearly one to bring comedy value and Jon Bass does a very good job with this. He reminds me a little of Josh Gad and the characters that he often plays.
Overall, Baywatch is a simple comedy film suitable for everyone (15+), it’s easy to watch and provides plenty of laughs and was surprisingly a lot better than I was anticipating. The action scenes are brilliantly shot, and there are plenty of slow-motion moments to appease everyone! Definitely one I would happily watch again.