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Baywatch: Movie Review

The idea of pairing Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron for a cinematic reboot of the popular 80’s/90’s television show, “Baywatch” actually sounded quite appealing when it was announced. The charisma and likability between the two stars is off the charts.  Unfortunately, the screenplay was written by the two guys who gave us the remake of “Friday the 13th” and the film was directed by the guy who gave us “Identity Thief”.  If you are familiar with those titles, then you can pretty much guess just how bad “Baywatch” is.

Mitch Buchanan (Johnson) takes his job as a lifeguard very seriously. He doesn’t just save lives, but he likes to keep all crime off his beach.  When Mitch is pressured by his superior to bring down-on-his-luck gold metal Olympian Matt Brody (Efron) onto the team, things don’t go smoothly. Mitch and Matt continuously butt heads, due to the young athlete’s selfish ways.

When a local councilman is found dead just off the beach, Mitch suspects foul play. He also believes that Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra) is using her beachfront property as a front for an illegal drug operation.  Although they are not cops, Mitch leads Matt, Summer (Alexandra Daddario), CJ (Kelly Rohrbach), Stephanie (Ilfenish Hadera), and Ronnie (Jon Bass) into an investigation to uncover the truth.

“Baywatch” starts with a great opening sequence in which Mitch rescues a man from the bay, and while he is doing so the film’s title drops from the sky onto the ocean with dolphins jumping in the air. It’s a great opening and really grabbed my attention. I just wish the rest of the nearly two hour run time didn’t feel so limp and unfunny.

By: Marc Ferman