Movie Review: ‘Baywatch’ (2017)

Review by lou.

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Matt Brody is a former Olympic swimmer who wants to join an elite team of lifeguards led by the hulking Mitch Buchannon. Brody thinks he’s a shoo-in, but his casual attitude starts to instantly rub Mitch the wrong way. 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.

Seth Gordon of ‘Horrible Bosses’ fame splatters filth onto the innocent spirit of a hit ’80s TV show, and what gets born is an R-rated action-comedy going by the name of Baywatch. The name does make a familiar ring, but this isn’t the same Baywatch that graced television screens with its adorable cheesiness years back. This time, the simplicity found in it is revamped for a modern age – getting accustomed to the latest trends, and boasting a beefed-up cast who build a team that we can all get behind with. Every star that could be seen is a perfect fit, and the best part in that is that, they do everything to shine with personalities to make each of their characters unique, and amusing. Not much of a clever move for a supposedly dumb comedy, but the empowerment that it has for some of its females who stand in the midst of beefed-up males is an appreciable effort.

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At the center of that all though, are Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron who, invade the beaches as Mitch Buchanan and Matt Brody – forming a laudable comedic duo that then becomes the film’s untiring surge of energy. Their side-by-side appearances onscreen effortlessly splashes in “bro chemistry” – making them a tandem whose antics are worth anticipating as they plan shenanigans that never fail to leave us laughing uncontrollably. There’s even a sequence thrown in there that has them feeling like they’re in control of everything – making us wish that we see more from them in the future, crossing our fingers for a sequel. In spite of this reiteration of Baywatch taking a ridiculous route that it heads first into in its earliest minutes, it doesn’t try to be anything else other than just a laid back, explosive, laugh-riot suited for the summer.

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It knows exactly what it is and isn’t, and its quasi-prideful identity that is maintained all throughout is what makes it stand out (albeit not too much) to save itself from drowning. Staying in the shallows that it wades into, its indulgence lies entirely on what that pool is filled up with. Be it with wild gags or raunchy jokes, it just gets into the right level of absurdity which doesn’t make everything that pops up onscreen be too much for its own good — even if they seem to be so. Director Seth Gordon knows it isn’t the next “21 Jump Street”, and he even acknowledges it by exerting in it a consciousness regarding its capabilities. Baywatch works from a formulaic story, and over-the-top antics, yet both of those qualities never really do anything to harm itself as it tries to make something enjoyable out of those. By its self-made juice that gets the job done and proper, harmless, inoffensive, action-packed entertainment floods and the way, and you just couldn’t help but swim in it with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron to keep you in unfailingly good company.

Rating:

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Baywatch is now showing in Philippine cinemas from United International Pictures. Rated R-16 by the MTRCB.

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