Movie Review: Spot-on casting keeps Baywatch afloat
Dwayne Johnson said earlier this year that this Baywatch, which opens here on June 1, will have "a high flesh quota, featuring gratuitous boobs, bums, abs".
As its executive producer, he promised a racy comedy too - and he delivers.
This sequel of sorts to the long-running late 80s TV series is definitely raunchy and filled with jokes about genitalia from the get-go.
Then again, what do you expect from Seth Gordon, the man behind Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief?
Forget about the plot revolving around the team's efforts to take down a drug ring headed by a sexy crime boss played by Priyanka Chopra.
The story is preposterous. Lame jokes and corny lines are aplenty too, such as when a guy asks Mitch (Johnson) if he is Batman after Mitch rescues two damsels single-handedly.
Mitch says he's "bigger and darker too", followed by a flash of his megawatt smile.
Fortunately, what keeps this film afloat - barely - is its spot-on casting. Everyone is picture perfect.
Johnson is in his element playing the local hero, an earnest, by-the-book juggernaut of a lifeguard, albeit at times taking things too seriously in this cheesy outing.
Zac Efron, who has been making good use of his buff physique lately in Dirty Grandpa and Neighbours 2, is also in fine form as the peacock Olympian seeking redemption.
The guys want you to laugh with them, but you are likely to laugh at them instead.
There are throwback moments to the TV series' trademark slow-motion runs along the beach, and it even features cameos from the show's iconic stars David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson.
Despite its obvious flaws, the chemistry between Johnson and Efron should propel this vehicle forward - the actors are already talking about sequels - much like how Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill successfully revived another late 80s TV series 21 Jump Street with their big-screen update.
STARRING: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario
DIRECTOR: Seth Gordon
THE SKINNY: Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) is the leader of the elite Baywatch lifeguard squad. His position is being threatened by Olympic swimmer Matt Brody (Efron), whose presence is viewed as a good public relations campaign. There is also a scuffle between the lifeguards and drug lord Victoria Leeds (Chopra).
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