In this 2017 remake of the 1989 television series, “Baywatch” follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchanan (Dwayne Johnson), who is forced to take cocky, two-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Matt Brody (Zac Efron) under his wing. Together, alongside a team of lifeguards, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the bay.
Unsurprisingly, the somewhat generic storyline has the depth of a paddling pool and is littered with plot holes. Instead, this reboot heavily relies on crude humour, including Ronnie (Jon Bass) getting his penis stuck inside a beach chair, and references to the TV series, such as the slow-motion running along the beach and the predictable, yet poorly executed cameos from David Hassellhoff and Pamela Anderson.
For a film that is dependent on its humour, the jokes prove to be more miss than hit. One of the more memorable attempts is Buchanan referring to Brody as boy band names (One Direction, N*Sync and even a “High School Musical” reference). The concept produces a mild chuckle, although lacks the possible belly laughs due to Dwayne Johnson’s dull, monotone delivery.
Whilst humour may not be one of their strongest traits, Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron deliver great performances in their respective roles. They have a great chemistry and are at their finest during the major, action-packed set pieces, which sees the duo pursuing their rivals on jet skis, saving civilians from a burning boat and a fight scene inside a children’s bedroom.
As for the female members of the cast, they are severely underused, with Alexandro Daddario (as Summer Quinn), Kelly Rohrbach (CJ Parker) and Priyanka Chopra (Victoria Leeds) largely serving as love interests and swimsuit models, rather than breaking the stereotype, as the alpha-male characters dominate the spotlight.
Overall, despite its lack of structure and wasted potential, “Baywatch” is brainless fun, just like its 1989 television counterpart. There’s enough jokes that hit within the two hour running time to make this a worthwhile viewing.