I no longer fear death for I have seen Baywatch
Sorry, I normally do more a lead in than that.
Lets start again.
Baywatch was a tv series that ran from 1989-2001 and includes several unwatchable spin-offs. At its height, it aired in 148 countries, on every continent except Antarctica. After 11 years in syndication, it was canceled for the second time in 2001. It’s the only TV show in Iceland’s TV history to receive massive complaints from viewers over containing subtitles (for the text would get in the way of ‘vital’ parts of the imagery). As the show was infamous for cramming roughly 15 minutes worth of plot into a 45 minute show via the medium of slow mo shots of various pretty young things in skin tight swim costumes.
Fast forward to 2017 and the show is making it’s big screen debut via the director of such comedy classics as Four Christmases and Identity Thief.
And I have no idea who thought this was a good idea.
I never really got into Baywatch when it was on TV, but I remember it being on during tea time just before Gladiators and as far as I can work out there’s absolutely no reason why this film shouldn’t have been the same.
Yeah, all the gross out humor from the trailer? That’s pretty much all there is in the film save one very unfunny and horrifically stretched gag involving the slats in a deck chair and an ‘overexcited’ young man that was met with side-splitting silence in my screening.
Because whilst I know that humor is subjective apparently everyone in my screening is as grouchy and jaded as I am. There were a few smiles, maybe a chuckle or two but mostly, there was just dead silence- even during the outtakes over the credits.
And there was no need for the gross out humor, or the nudity, or the rampant foul language because this would have worked perfectly well as a PG rated summer blockbuster. Seriously, this film felt like a PG rated film with loads of American Pie humor rammed in for no reason. Because most of the people that were going to see this are in their thirties or forties now and most of the people I know of that age have grown out of that sort of thing and are teenage boys going to flock to a reboot of a franchise they’ve probably never heard of?
I mean the plot: In which Priyanka Chopra and her two inept henchman come up against a group of lifeguards who attempt to foil her operation to smuggle drugs though a collection of really obvious tanks, horrific green screen and appealing CGI that I think is supposed to be an ocean, is pretty much a description of something I would have enjoyed (and been a lot more forgiving of) when I was 10 or 11.
Hell, I’m pretty sure dad would have stayed awake for this one as the slo-mo shots have survived. And their commented on in several awkward almost-but-not-quite fourth wall breaks that just make everything so much worse than it needs to be.
And you can put as many slo-mo shots of Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Dwayne Johnson and Greek God/human CGI Effect Zac Efron as you like but sooner or later even I start to twig that there may be the odd plot hole or million including vanishing jet-skis, deaths, falsified evidence that could easily be debunked…..
Look, if you wanted to turn this silly show into a gross-out comedy/parody of itself then do that. Go for it, go all out, you had all the ingredients there but the film just seemed to lack the confidence to go there and it had nothing else to fall back on. The characters are all parody’s of themselves or whoever would inhabit this world. It had everything going for it but instead just made me wonder why they had bothered when with virtually no effort they could have mad the film a family friendly affair.
But I don’t review that which could be, I review that which is.
Summing up? In Baywatch the stunts were awful to look at, the CGI obvious, I never came close to caring about the clothing allergic pieces of cardboard with character arks I could set my watch to, the plot had nothing to offer, the humor out of place and not to my taste (or anyone else in my screenings.) And I still have no idea who this… this… thing was aimed at.
Were it not for Transformers: My God Just Stop and The Emoji movie I would say that this is the worst film of the summer.
And as for Hasselhoff and Anderson? Their credits get more screen time than they do.
My Score- Fire