BAYWATCH (2017) Score: C

Rating: R Length: 116 Minutes


All of the pre-marketing — and there was lots of it, can’t save BAYWATCH. Who hasn’t seen gorgeous Kelly Rohbach, Alexandra Daddario, Llfenesh Hadera, Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efrot and Jon Bass running on the beach.
They are jogging toward the camera, and it is a major turn on for both the men and the women! Who wouldn’t want to be saved by any one of them with their beautiful figures and sexy bodies? (Okay, maybe not Jon Bass — although he is pretty terrific in this film.)

Unfortunately, the mediocre crop of spring movies continues to disappoint. Despite the breasts, the pecs, a penis and a terrific soundtrack — what should have been a pretty good comedy quickly deteriorates into a silly if not stupid rude and crude farce. I am surprised that Director Seth Gordon seemed to not keep control of the story, while screen writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift allowed the movie to lose focus.

With a stronger screenplay, Dwayne Johnson could certainly have carried this film on his shoulder. He is a wonderful movie star. You would have thought that working alongside of Mr. Effron would have strengthened this “buddy” film. That was another disappointment. Being pared with Zac Effron didn’t seem to work. There wasn’t the chemistry that one would have expected.
Towards the last third of the movie, the script takes an unexpected turn. From that point on — the plot can only be described as ridiculous.

Baywatch debuted on NBC in 1989. It only lasted one season, ranking 74th out of 111 shows. The three stars included David Hasselhoff, Erika Eleniak and Parker Stevenson. The true story of how this canceled failure became a giant syndicated success would have made a much stronger motion picture, and frankly, still could.

Hasselhoff was joined by Pamela Anderson and the rest is television history. One of the potential stars of this reboot might surprise you. Leonardo DiCaprio, was then a young teenager. Hasselhoff wanted a “younger” son, so instead of selecting Leo, the role went to 10-year-old Jeremy Jackson.

Baywatch also survived a scandal when a sex tape with Anderson and her husband Tommy Lee went viral. That did not hurt the ratings. At one time, Baywatch was one of the most popular shows in the history of television.

In 2004, the movie rights went to DreamWorks, and later transferred to Paramount. The project finally got approved in 2014 with Dwayne Johnson being cast.

There are too many blockbusters about to be released as we move into summer, and I suspect that this Baywatch movie will not be the hit that it should have been. The critics mostly agree with my review. Rotten Tomatoes gives one of the lowest scores of the year – a paltry 19%. That means 80% of the critics give the R-rated Baywatch a thumbs down. But hey, I am only a critic. Would you believe that the producers are already talking about a sequel!

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