The fiery excitement for the release of Baywatch was doused by critics who slammed the film for being “lifeless” and “mechanical”. Shortly after, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson challenged their unfair outlook of this big summer blockbuster. Now, when it comes to listening to The Rock and listening to critics who had their “venom & knives ready”, I would suggest you side with the former ’cause, honestly? Baywatch ain’t half-bad.
Jumping right into the lifeguard action, Baywatch did not shy away from bringing out its big guns. And no, we don’t mean The Rock; we speak of Priyanka Chopra, who is, without a doubt, the sole ingredient for a perfect villain recipe. Chopra’s Victoria Leeds sweeps the bay with her own drug-related agenda quite literally with pouches of drugs washing up on shore like sea shells. As one could tell at their first encounter with Leeds, she is an enchantress of a woman. This new owner of the Huntley Club knows how to play people, and play them, she does. She’s cunning, manipulative, and downright evil but also, she’s sensual, charming, and very irresistible. It was a little disappointing that the writers couldn’t stuff a larger role for Priyanka’s talented renditions of Leeds as we just couldn’t get enough of her.
However, Priyanka Chopra is hardly the sole saving grace of Baywatch. Both Dwayne Johnson (Mitch Buchannon) and Zac Efron (Matt Brody) have quite the on-screen appeal. With Johnson’s inborn machismo and Efron’s jocular antics, the two share a striking chemistry. Also, a shout-out to Jon Bass’ Ronnie who, despite only being the comic-relief guy (in a comedy movie!) delivered an managed to seem significant in the frame.
So, the villains are perfect, the cast is great, the script is not devoid of humour; the critics couldn’t have been absolute idiots to rate it as badly as they did. Then, what went wrong with Baywatch? The sole problem with the film lies in its shabby plot. It seems that the writers took the slo-mo jokes too far when they made the entire film run at a slower than desired pace which makes it all the more surprising at how quickly they branded Leeds as bad news for the bay.
The plot is a scattered assemblage of good and abominable bits which keep the film from feeling anything like Baywatch except until Kelly Rohrbach starts to run (in slo-mo, of course). The only thing they couldn’t slow down was the unstoppable deluge of f-bombs. They’re f#@king everywhere! Which reminds me, it is an A-rated film through and through, even dark at times, so don’t even bother to sneak in children. You’ll be sorry.
All in all, the film is not that much of a disaster as you may have heard. Baywatch is flawed, yes, but under acceptable levels. It’s funny, entertaining, and if you’re a fan of Priyanka Chopra, well, what are you waiting for?
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