MPAA Rating: R
for language throughout, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity
Runtime: 116 minutes
Directed by: Seth Gordon
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Ephron, David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Yahya Abdul-Mateen, II, Hannibal Buress
It’s summer time and thoughts of the beach, beautiful girls, and muscled men occupy the minds of most twenty-somethings. The new Baywatch movie, based on the popular television series, provides fun, frolic, action and intrigue—with a liberal sprinkling of sex and half-naked bodies to satisfy the raging hormone set. There’s enough jiggling here to rival a bowl of Jello.
World-favorite Dwayne Johnson puts away his usual ancient fighting apparatuses and grabs hold of a lifeguard’s buoy and commands the beach as the captain of the lifeguard brigade on the sands of a very busy beach. Filmed partly on Tybee Island, Georgia and Boca Raton, Florida, the scenery is splendid and must compete with all the beautiful people sprinkled throughout the film as eye candy.
Holding annual auditions for lifeguard positions is one of Captain Mitch’s (Johnson) jobs. Flopping onto the beach like a beached whale comes nearly washed up Olympic swimmer Matt Brody (teen sensation Zac Efron). Brody has hit bottom but still clings to the two Gold Medals he won as proof he’s the best in the world. Falling on hard times, he yearns to become part of Mitch’s lifeguard team. Efron is famous for his spectacular abs, and he shows them off to advantage by hardly ever wearing any clothes. Efron proves he is more than a muscle-bound air-head by turning in a good performance in many touching scenes.
Alas! Not all is wonder and beauty on the beach. Evidence washes up on the sand of bags of drugs, mysteriously appearing at this family oriented resort. Mitch and his team are determined to find out the source and eliminate it from their “clean and safe” beach. Johnson has the enormous build of two elephants and a moose stuck together, so he presents a very imposing authority figure for the other lifeguards. They all adore him and will follow his instructions. Johnson has a winning personality and people naturally gravitate to him.
Enter the suspected villain. Or in this case, the beautiful villainess is in the form of a drug baroness, Victoria Leeds. Played by the luciously beautiful Priyanka Chopra (Miss World 2000), the Indian Bollywood star makes villainy look attractive. This bad girl runs the drug cartel like a Nazi and has no qualms about rubbing out her enemies. Mitch must trap and eliminate her and her thugs.
Not everything is serious as there is much comedy in the film. Some hilarious rapport between Mitch and Brody keeps the banter light and funny. Flabby Jon Bass plays Ronnie, a misfit lifeguard and comic foil who is intrigued by all the beautiful babes. One hilarious scene between him and a beach chair is the highlight of the film. Another excellent actor adding to the comedic aspects is daffy police officer Sgt. Ellerbee, played to deadpan comic delight by Yahya Abdul-Mateen, II.
So, it’s not a Pulitzer Prize winning screenplay or even a low rent Shakespearean drama, but it is fun, light-hearted, funny, and a cool summer breeze for moviegoers. One word of warning: the raw language will curl your ears!