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Baywatch


(2017)

Genre: Action
MPAA Rating: R
for language throughout, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity
Runtime: 116 minutes
Our Rating:
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
Review by James Colt Harrison

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!

Recommended Audience:
Twenty-somethings who love the beach and crude humor