Tony's Take

BAYWATCH review

Beaches Ain’t Ready

2017 brings-us-back to the beaches of Emerald Bay in the return of “Baywatch”.  Mitch Buchannon, the lieutenant of Baywatch, is regarded as a hero around his territory; having saved countless lives and thwarted crime.  As drugs continue to wash ashore, Mitch and his team feeling the need to uncover who keeps bringing these dangerous drugs to town.  It also happens to be recruitment time, where dozens of recruits are hoping to become the newest members of Baywatch, including a famous hothead, a mysterious young woman, and a hard-working (but out of shape) young man.  After assembling his Baywatch, Mitch must get his teammates of new and old to come-together and understand the true meaning of their jobs, all while trying to save the town and their beach.

Dwayne Johnson plays the famous Mitch Buchannon, the lieutenant of Baywatch on the beaches of Emerald Bay.  Zac Efron plays the new recruit with an unfortunate past, Matt Brody.  Priyanka Chopra plays a young rich woman in Emerald Bay with hopes for real estate domination, Victoria Leeds.  Alexandra Daddario plays a fellow recruit, Summer Quinn.  Kelly Rohrbach plays Baywatch team member CJ Parker.  Ilfenesh Hadera plays Mitch’s second-in-command, Stephanie Holden.  Jon Bass plays another new Baywatch recruit, Ronnie Greenbaum.  Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays Sgt. Ellerbee, the local beat cop who is stationed on Emerald Bay.  Hannibal Buress has a small role as Dave, Ronnie’s friend.  Rob Huebel plays Captain Thorpe, the organizer of Baywatch.  Amin Joseph and Jack Kesy play Victoria’s henchmen, Frankie and Leon.  Oscar Nuñez plays a local councilman, Councilman Rodriguez.  The film also offers a few famous cameos as well!

“Baywatch” does an excellent job making “what’s old is new again” work, never taking itself overly-serious and providing laugh after laugh!  The film brilliantly-pokes fun of its’ original subject matter, all while delivering the thrills and entertainment that’s needed to drive the film forward.  Many of the film’s jokes involve callbacks to the original series, including a number of “fourth wall” breaks as well.  “Baywatch” deserves a lot of its praise due to the impressive cast, each of them offering their own unique injection into the film’s DNA.  Johnson and Efron bounce jokes (and their impressive physiques) off-each other effortlessly, providing one-liner after one-liner.  The supporting cast (Daddario, Hadera, Rohrbach, Bass) all share great chemistry as well.  As to be expected for a summer tent pole, “Baywatch” has plenty of action sequences as well, including a great water-then-land pursuit.  Unfortunately some of the film’s finer moments have been revealed by the trailers, but luckily not all of them have.  “Baywatch” is also crafted with a fun, catchy soundtrack that fits the film’s overall tone and theme.  The film isn’t without its problems though.  The humor gets a bit repetitive (and those who dislike low-brow will have issues), but just stays-away from getting stale thanks to the cast.  I also think “Baywatch” should have handled their cameos differently, as each of the appearances are bland and “by-the-book” unfortunately.  “Baywatch” has a run time of 116 minutes, but it flows nicely with joke-after-joke.   Fans of the original will probably be split on “Baywatch”, but there’s no doubt that the film leaves you thoroughly entertained and laughing from start-to-finish!

“Baywatch” unites the Emerald Bay Beach Patrol as they must come-together to solve a crime that’s plaguing their beach.  The film features plenty of laughs, action sequences, and a diverse and energetic cast.  If you are looking for laughs this weekend, then “Baywatch” is for you!!

 3/5

BAYWATCH is rated R for language throughout, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity, in theaters MAY 25TH!

 

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