Shannon: Hey readers! Reboots are a thing in Hollywood right now, and I’m for sure not complaining about it. We had the opportunity to see Baywatch starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron. With us being so young, I know that for me at least I never watched Baywatch nor knew a whole lot about it other than the women in their skimpy swimsuits jogging slowly up the beach - which is a recurring joke throughout the new movie. David, what were your first thoughts about Baywatch? Did you ever watch the television show?
David: How could you have never watched the show? One of the quintessential nineties shows, and we grew up in the nineties. Lol. I can remember many a day that I was home sick, perusing the channels on the television and coming across Baywatch.. There wasn’t a whole lot to it, but there was the different take on a crime drama… that yes, happened to be filled with slow motion shots of women like Pam Anderson and Yasmine Bleeth.
That was probably my favorite thing about this movie (and, spoiler alert, I wouldn’t give it a “Loved It” on the Shannon scale). The movie wasn’t afraid to poke fun at and embrace its roots. From the shots of both the C.J.’s in slow motion, and the recognition of Hasselhoff as well, it was good to see that there were references to the show. I also saw this pop up in the villain’s completely inexplicable dialogue, as well as the references to previous things that had happened on the show. I may even allow that the special effects when it comes to the fire and the shark bite may have been due to an attempt to pay homage, rather than just being poor special effects.
The movie tries really, really hard to be funny throughout. What were your impressions on the humor of the show Shannon?
Shannon: Why would I watch that show as a little girl? I was busy watching Disney movies and playing outside. As for the film, it wasn’t as funny as I thought it’d be, but there were definitely some humorous parts in there. Particularly Mitch (The Rock) calling Matt (Efron) a bunch of boy band names throughout the entire film as well as Ronnie (Jon Bass) with all the one liners and that dance in the middle of the movie! I can definitely see what you mean when you say that the movie is trying really hard to be funny. Did you find it funny? What was your favorite?
One thing I had a huge hurdle with is Priyanka Chopra as the villain. I only know her from one other thing - Quantico - where she is a good, FBI trainee/agent trying to fight terrorism. Obviously, I don’t know what you mean where you say the references she makes in the dialogue, but I could tell that she was supposed to be “funny” and “villainous” in this film. What did you think about her role and the background story overall?
David: The movie trails on the back end of funny for me, let’s put it that way. In the recent trend of comedy, when you look at films like Bad Grandpa, Snatched, and Bad Moms, it seems like most films things it’s enough to cuss and throw out sexual humor immediately and without really trying. That’s not always funny. Curse words are meant to emphasize things, and when done well (let’s take a look at Boondock Saints for an exemplary use of cursing), it’s hilarious. Here, lots of jokes fall flat.
For me, the joke a minute pace at times was also a bit too much. I thought that the names Mitch was calling Matt were funny, but I couldn’t even hear all of them because the dialogue was being spoken so fast. It almost seems like wasted effort.
I enjoyed Ronnie’s character, despite the fact that is character arc is A) be a loser and then B) be a loser sleeping with an attractive woman. It’s disappointing that we are still throwing these cliches out here after all these years. Is fat always going to equal being a loser?
I didn’t love her as the villain. She neither seemed motivated (besides continually assuring us that she was a woman - I half expected to see a twist like Ace Ventura and it turns out she’s a man. Her dialogue (if I’m referencing your point referencing mine) was exceedingly cheesy and frequently unnecessary. She might as well have been a 60s Bond villain with the way she throws her hair around.
There are some other small things I enjoyed - particularly the different chase scenes and the show of lifeguarding as an actual thing. As a former lifeguard, I really enjoyed seeing the viewpoint that it’s something to take seriously. What did you think of the action (I know you like action) and the lifeguarding aspect of the film?
Shannon: Well, I definitely didn’t hate all the explosions. I would say the lifeguarding scenes were what really drove the movie, for me at least. I could have gotten even more on board if it was a crime drama only without all the comedic aspects thrown in there - as you said it - every other minute or so. So yeah, the action was great for me. I know nothing about lifeguarding, nor honestly do I ever want to do that. But the way that the characters love their job and what they do was great to see on screen. The boat on fire was a fun scene to watch Mitch save those girls and all, but hands down the best scene in my opinion was the fireworks. First of all, fireworks are my favorite. The fact that they used them to help catch the bad guy was just perfect I thought. I could have done without that final explosion (you know what I mean, no spoilers) and the aftermath of that I didn’t find funny at all. But all in all it was a happy ending which I love.
As for the chase scenes - there was really only one? I liked it, the stunts that were shown with the jet ski were cool and it was fast paced enough to keep me wanting more. Back to the funny thing since I just remembered, I did like the scene with Mitch and the guy in the little girl’s room. Anyway, were there other chase scenes? I don’t really remember.
One question I have for you, since I’m sure you know being a Baywatcher - was the “you’re only a lifeguard” thing a recurring comment in the show as well? Or was that just for the movie? It kind of angered me the little attention that the police showed in the problems on the beach, and other characters which made it a little obvious as to the “twist” in the end (if you even can call it that). But I guess if they did their job then the lifeguards wouldn’t have to huh?
David: I was considering the first scene where Brody attempts to save by riding the motorcycle a chase scene. In retrospect it’s not quite a chase is it? That’s ok. I felt like the scene with Mitch in that room was a little overdone, because I feel like I’ve seen that exact scene in other movies recently.
Nah that was really a line from the show - and typically the same reaction. This one just ran with it a bit more. Of course the police are a problem. I think that is what frustrated me so much with this movie - everything felt recycled from other, better movies.
Overall, Baywatch was only slightly enjoyable, and I’m heavily on the slight side. I would give it a very generous “D+” based solely on Dwayne Johnson’s dedication to the role of Mitch. What would you like to give the movie Shannon?
Shannon: I am not sure what other movies you are talking about, but I did feel like the film was overdone on most of the aspects that they were going for. Not sure if that was on purpose or accident. I’m thinking I found it a lot more enjoyable than you, but that’s probably because of the crime drama aspects and the action scenes. I’m going to give it a “Liked It” rating.
Here’s some photos we took at the Baywatch advanced screening!
David and Shannon write about movies.