Print review of Baywatch (Paramount) for the 25th May edition of The Oxford Paper from Taylor Newspapers.
“The obvious approach here would be to capitalise on tedious ‘ironic’ nostalgia, popular with those who pretend being born in 1998 means they remember the 90s. Mercifully, Gordon and Paramount are smarter than this – excepting some brief, obligatory cameos – and clearly have a new franchise in their sights.
Underdog Ronnie (Jon Bass), veteran C.J. (Kelly Rohrbach) and Brody bring most of the laughs, relying on slapstick gags and hapless personal skills, while Summer (Alexandra Daddario), Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hadera) and Mitch play things more seriously. The balance is an odd one, leering uneasily from sunny spoof to crime drama, often compromising one for the sake of the other.
Yet with such a low-stakes plot and wonderful sunshine, it is hard to worry too much about the clunky moments. With a soundtrack to fit a beach-body workout session and surprisingly un-obnoxious performances, it is clear the filmmakers want nothing more or less than a good time for the audience. Why else would the editor leave in three easy jokes featuring a fish-tank model of Dwayne Johnson?”
Cast & Crew
Director(s): Seth Gordon
Writer(s): Damian Shannon, Mark Swift
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Ilfenesh Hadera, Priyanka Chopra, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach