The elite Baywatch lifeguard team, led by Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson), sets up tryouts for the new season. Among those trying out is troubled two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Brody (Zac Efron), who hopes that becoming a lifeguards can help with his rehabilitation plan. However, the old school Buchannon and the new arrival Brody don’t see eye to eye on much, which leads to what might be called a shark fight. Against this backdrop, there are also bodies being found in the Baywatch waters.
“Baywatch” ultimately drowns in a sea of implausible story lines. But there is enough of an entertainment value to eke out a Rent It rating.
First, the idea of a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner trying out for a life guard crew is so “amusing” that no matter how hard the writers try to breathe life in to that plot, it flounders. Next, there’s the Baywatch team investigating a crime ring, complete with going undercover. There is also dubious dialogue. One of the characters explains that if the owner of a seaside restaurant were to die, the property would go to the city. What? If he is truly the owner, then it would be a part of his estate and go to his heirs. But why let well-known facts get in the way of telling a story that has no credibility anyway?
Great bodies are not enough to save this movie. Great bodies are all over TV, the internet, magazines and the big screen; they are no longer unique or special.
“Baywatch” does make a few splashes, such as Buchannon’s constant run-ins with the nerdy police sergeant Ellebe (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). Sometimes the officer simply can’t tell whether he’s being complimented or insulted when talking to Buchannon. It’s good to see Johnson looking massively muscular at the age of 45. He’s a walking, talking example of the “age is just a number” theory.
The music is eclectic but fitting: Beach Boys, Chi-lites, Commodores and Bee Gees.
Baywatch gets an “A” for cast diversity. The cast looks like America, at least racially. There are very few old folks in the film. It’s rated “R” for language throughout, crude sexual content and graphic nudity, and is 116 minutes in length. There’s not enough here to justify going to the theater to see it. But if you get a chance
to rent it, please do.