Luke Reviews – Baywatch

This may seem like a random review, as the film came out last year and isn’t particularly relevant any more… and it’s not exactly a cult classic like American Psycho, but it’s okay because I just watched it for the first time, enjoyed it and thought it had enough credentials to warrant a review.

I went into Baywatch thinking, how are they going to make a plot out of this? Isn’t it just attractive people running on a beach? And the answer is yes and no – there’s plenty of beach running, but the creators of this film have done a lot more than that with the concept.

Baddie Victoria (Priyanka Chopra) is on a mission to privatise the beach for her own evil gain, willing to use money, influence, charm and henchmen to do so. Mitch (Johnson) is the head lifeguard (or ‘lieutenant’) and he leads his unlikely lifeguard heroes in an investigation to try and figure out what Victoria is up to. It’s full of explosions, fight scenes, jet skis and quad bikes, sun, attractive people and all in all makes for a very enjoyable viewing experience.

So first things first, THAT CAST. Led by ever-brilliant Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and supported by Zac Efron as Brody, Alexandra Daddario as Summer, Kelly Rohrbach as CJ, Ilfenesh Hadera as Stephanie and Jon Bass as Ronnie, they have amazing on-screen chemistry and they’re all extremely likeable in their respective characters. Whether in twos (Efron/Daddario, Rohrbach/Bass, Johnson/Everyone) or as a group, they come across as genuine and likeable in their roles and as friends (the bloopers are a delight). Jon Bass’ character is potentially the best in the film, and he has some competition for that spot.

This film isn’t going to be a classic, it doesn’t have a genius plot and complex characters, but it’s not intended to be that sort of film. It’s meant to be fun, and that’s where the film finds its prowess. Because it genuinely is fun to watch; the writing is great, and every character really comes into their own through the script. The big-budget visuals are a joy, and although some of the special effects are questionable, I see this more as an artistic decision, an homage to the original Baywatch perhaps, rather than laziness on the producers’ behalf.

Baywatch handles the mix of absurd humour (a penis stuck in a sun lounger) to high-adrenaline action (The Rock trying to save people from a burning boat) really well. It can be hard to keep up with the shift between the ridiculous and serious tones of the film, but it just about works. I’m probably being generous; a proper film critic would dismiss this film as a crime to the big screen. But this is my review, and I enjoyed the 2hr 1min I spent watching this film.

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a critically-acclaimed film with depth and complexity, this isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a fun, casual film which won’t make you think too hard, look no further than Baywatch. It’s funny, explosively action-packed and generally enjoyable, and perfect for getting you in the summer mood.

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