By Dave B.
Here’s the thing. There are a lot of things to dislike about Baywatch (2017, currently on Amazon). Some of the performances are lackluster, at best. The plot is substandard in every way. Most annoyingly, it can’t decide if it’s a comedy, a drama, or an over-the-top action flick. But despite myself and my tendency to be overly critical, there are a couple of things that I really like about this movie.
Baywatch definitely suffers from constantly switching genres. The movie just doesn’t flow well. Combined with the paper-thin and utterly pedestrian plot, this easily could’ve turned out as one of the worst movies of the year. But…when it’s funny, it’s bloody hilarious! It may be evidence of my occasionally juvenile sense of humor, but I was nearly reduced to tears from laughing. Multiple times. Baywatch works well when it focuses on being a comedy/parody of the original TV show. The movie would have been much better if it didn’t attempt to add more serious elements.
The second reason that I like Baywatch is because Dwayne Johnson’s performance is pretty stellar. Without him, this movie would completely fall apart. But he completely and totally buys into his role. It’s pretty clear that he dragged the rest of the cast, kicking and screaming, into giving their all despite a substandard plot and inconsistent writing. Zac Efron was decent as the bad boy swimming prodigy who crapped the pool on international television during an Olympic event. But it’s Johnson who dominates every scene. I think it’s fair to say he’s the most charismatic actor in Hollywood, at the moment.
No, Baywatch isn’t a great movie. In fact, there are parts of it that are barely watchable. But when it hits the right notes, it hits them flush. I’m recommending this movie because while I was watching it, I was (mostly) entertained. Sometimes, a movie doesn’t have to accomplish any more than that.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.