I really love “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson. I love him so much that I can even watch him in turds like the new Baywatch movie and find myself enjoying him.
I have never liked Zac Efron very much, despite him receiving fairly positive word of mouth from some of the other comedy films that he has appeared in.
The two of them are clearly the best things that Baywatch has going for it.
Baywatch is really dumb.
Now, one could argue that the film knows it is a dumb movie and it embraces the fact, and I would agree to an extent that Baywatch is going for the “guilty pleasure” category. I just don’t believe that there is enough of significance in Baywatch to fit it into that category even though they have some “insider” jokes that poke fun at itself. I don’t think there were enough of that and what they did seemed to be overused too much. Running jokes that were run into the ground.
Based on one of the eighties’ biggest shows, this film starred The Rock as Mitch Buchanan (the role made famous by David Hasselhoff), the head lifeguard on the beach who was beloved and well-known by everyone. Zac Efron played newcomer and two-time Olympic gold medalist Matt Brody, who was down on his luck after failing to win a gold medal with his team. Brody was brought on as a publicity stunt to help the reputation of the Baywatch crew.
There were several other characters who were based on characters from the TV show, but none of them really became more than what they were on the show. CJ Parker (Kelly Rohrback in the role made famous by Pam Anderson) was beautiful and did command a presence whenever she was on screen. Unfortunately, she was paired with Jon Bass as Ronnie, in a relationship that made little sense. Jon Bass was there as comedic relief, but nothing he did was very funny.
The script of this movie was really bad, and felt like a poor episode of the TV series. Again, that could be the basis for a spoof movie, but they just did not take it far enough to really put it together.
Yes, there were a lot of dick jokes as well. Some of those can be funny, but most of these were not. One particularly painful sequence involved Ronnie getting his dick and balls caught in a wooden chair accidentally while Mitch and CJ attempted to remove him from the situation.
Not only was the story poorly written, the dialogue was just not funny either. You have The Rock, who is great with comedic timing, but the script just failed him over and again.
I think you can enjoy parts of Baywatch if you approach it with the correct mind frame. And that mind frame is that this is going to be really stupid. There is definitely some chemistry between Johnson and Efron, and there are several attractive people on screen. You also have to expect some crudeness as there are plenty of dick jokes and juvenile humor. I think there could have been a more intelligent script using those same traits, but that is not what we get.