Baywatch

So bad.

Baywatch the movie doesn’t know what to do with itself. Based on a TV show that mysteriously combined crime-fighting lifeguards with slow-motion running, the movie struggles to find a leg to stand on. 21 Jump Street was able to successfully satirize the show it was based on while also paying it homage. It was funny. Baywatch just flounders about in shallow water.

I don’t think any of the actors knew if they were in a drama or a comedy either. They would sometimes recite lines that sounded self-aware, only in a deadpan way that made baywatch-cast-shot.jpgme certain they weren’t aware at all. The thing is, lifeguards save people who are struggling in the water. They have no business fighting crime. They shouldn’t touch dead bodies in a crime scene let alone attempt to solve the murders themselves. These lifeguards, however, take it upon themselves to impersonate doctors, take down drug lords, go undercover, break into morgues, confiscate evidence, and they do it all while on the clock, abandoning their actual jobs on the beach in order to do the jobs of police officers who don’t take the intrusion too kindly – although, in actuality, not unkindly enough. Because, you know, the lifeguards, instead of guarding lives, are actually putting them at risk, constantly, by doing this work.

But that’s the LEAST of Baywatch’s problems. I remember thinking how strange it was in the commercials that The Rock was playing Mitch Buchannon, which is the character David Hasselhoff played in the original series. It seemed to me easy enough to update it by just having a new set of lifeguards in the Baywatch tradition, but no. Old Mitch is still pounding the waves, looking a little more tan (though not a lot more – David Hasselhoff was always pretty wizened) and a lot more buff. But then David Hasselhoff pops up in the movie and he’s playing his character Mitch Buchannon too. So there are two Mitches, which no calls bullshit on, and two CJs now that you mention it, and a lot more problems besides.

Sean and I gave it the old college try, we really did, but there is genuinely no way in which to enjoy the movie. It’s never intentionally funny, and the mistakes aren’t even laughable they just make you want to tear your hair out. But it’s also way, way too ridiculous to be taken seriously, but none of the campiness that made the television series a guilty pleasure. The jiggly boob factor is alive and well, but there’s also a lot more penis in the movie than is strictly advisable.

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37 thoughts on “Baywatch

  1. tarmac492

    Good review of a bad flick. Seems they missed the boat on this one. Perhaps the Howard Stern produced show Son of the Beach did this better in the 90’s?

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  2. mydangblog

    Oh that’s too bad–the trailer made it seem funny, but maybe those were just the only funny parts, as quite often happens. I feel the same way about crime shows where the forensic scientist infiltrates a drug gang–when does that happen in real life?!

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, I think they cut the trailer to make it look more like a comedy. And those funny bits are wasted in the movie since we’ve already seen them.

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  3. Chris Scott

    I actually was looking forward to this but then the reviews hit and it seemed like an easy pass. I really like The Rock but this seemed to need a bit more to it than just his presence. I would have preferred that they take the 21 Jump Street route and set it in the series but a couple decades in the future and then play up the absurdity of it all for laughs with solid writing. Seems like they missed the boat.

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  4. desertcurmudgeon

    Ha! I was hoping you’d review this movie. Not because I’ve seen it — I haven’t and probably won’t — but because this is one of those rare films where you can tell that the awful trailers DO tell the whole story. The only thing that bothers me about this horrible idea for a movie is that Hannibal Burress is in it. Why would someone as funny as him, just coming off of a major role in Broad City, feel the need to participate in something so embarrassing?

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  5. The Vern

    This looks like it wants to be the next 21 Jump Street, but Baywatch was a show that was seen already as a comedy because it was so bad. It was only popular because of the jiggly tit

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Sean

    This was awful and I don’t understand how it could possibly be so stupid. It’s not just unfunny, it’s idiotic from start to finish, and it’s not even enjoyably bad.

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  7. J.

    Good grief. I wondered what was happening when I saw a poster for this appear. Clearly out of ideas somewhere and they thought “hey, that 21 Jump Street idea was good”. Just no. Never. There’s a second one on the way!?! Lordy.

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  8. EclecticMusicLover

    Bad reviews have to be more fun to write than good ones. I never watched the TV series “Baywatch” so would have no interest in seeing this dud. Your review convinces me that I wouldn’t be caught dead watching it.

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  9. Widdershins

    So, jiggly breasts and penises … um … pass. 🙂 (was always going to pass but maybe catch it in the Dwayne collected works box set 30 years from now) … the review is, as always entertaining though. 🙂

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  10. Christy B

    OMG! Thanks for posting this review! You’re my go-to site for reviews. Your witty tone in posts is second to none. I still plan to see the flick tomorrow night but can’t say I’ll be hung up on the plot – or lack of plot 😉 I’m thinking it should have poked fun at itself more than it did…

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    1. Jay Post author

      It seems like it wants to at times – there were some lines from Zac Efron’s mouth that seemed like they were satirical, but the tone did not agree.

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  11. Birgit

    My eyes would hurt and my brains would seep out if I had to watch this flick. It would hurt to see it on your tv never mind paying money to see this claptrap.

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  12. Christopher

    At least the cast appears slightly–and let’s put some really strong emphasis on that word–more culturally diverse than the original Baywatch cast. If I remember correctly David Hasselhoff’s tan made him the closest thing to a person of color in the first season lineup.

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    1. Jay Post author

      If I had published the review of Saturday rather than Monday, that would have been the start AND the end of it – I didn’t really think it was worth many more words.

      Liked by 1 person

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  13. Brittani

    I almost wanted to give this movie a chance because the trailer was pretty funny, but nope. Not after all these reviews.

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    1. Jay Post author

      I was skeptical ever since I saw the footage of Zac Efron in a dress. Any comedy still trying to make that funny in 2017 is lazy and stupid.

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  14. sati

    This looked terrible from the start. Pretty sure Rock’s meltdowns on twitter about reviews for this film are far more entertaining than actually watching it

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