MOVIE REVIEW - BAYWATCH
***WARNING: REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***
Dwayne Johnson as Mitch Buchannon
Zac Efron as Matt Brody
Priyanka Chopra as Victoria Leeds
Akexandra Daddario as Summer Quinn
Kelly Rohrback as CJ Parker
Ilfenesh Hadera as Stephanie Holden
Jon Bass as Ronnie Greenbaum
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Sgt. Ellerbee
David Hasselhoff as The Mentor "Mitch"
Pamela Anderson as Casey Jean Parker
(TRAILER PROVIDED VIA YOUTUBE)
THE ORIGINAL SERIES
(VIDEO PROVIDED VIA YOUTUBE)
Baywatch was a successful television series that ran from 1989-1999. Baywatch followed the story of lifeguards in California as they saved lives each day and dealt with personal turmoil. The show featured a wide range of danger scenarios such as Earthquakes, shark attacks, drowning and killers to name a few. The series was actually cancelled after it's first season due to low performance. It was Hasselhoff along with the show's creators who found new life for the series and once was revived, Baywatch became a global phenomenon. It was actually the characters of the second season that helped to get that global attention. It's not mistake that the season two characters were the ones featured in the new 2017 movie. Baywatch spawned two spin-offs, Baywatch Nights and Baywatch Hawaii. It also spawned three direct to video movies, Baywatch: Forbidden Paradise, Baywatch: White Thunder at Glacier Bay, and Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.
(PHOTO PROVIDED BY GOOGLE. CHARACTERS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: SUMMER QUINN, MITCH BUCHANNON, STEPHANIE HOLDEN, MATT BRODY AND CJ PARKER)
Baywatch Night aired for 2 seasons and followed David Hasselhoff's Mitch Buchannon as he worked nights as a private eye. After the series' lackluster first season, producers decided to add a science fiction element to the show much like the X-Files. This change did not help the show and it was cancelled.
The second of the two spin-offs, Baywatch Hawaii, lasted for two seasons and followed the series as it moved to Hawaii. All in all, I was a fan of the original series growing up and I lost interest when the Hawaii spin-off happened.
(PHOTO PROVIDED VIA GOOGLE. CHARACTERS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: RONNIE GOLDBAUM, SUMMER QUINN, MATT BRODY, MITCH BUCHANNON, CJ PARKER, STEPHANIE HOLDEN.)
Fast forward to 2017 and here are with a new Baywatch story. This comedic attempt to revive the brand brought all of the old formula that made the original series successful back with a vengeance and added a few new tricks while at it. Zac Efron's Matt Brody was depicted as an Olympic gold medalist who liked to party a little too much. I ended up liking the character and had fun watching his screw ups. CJ Parker was played by Kelly Rohrback and I will say that she filled the CJ Parker bikini just fine. I liked her as CJ. Even so, I did miss watching Pamela Anderson on screen in the role. But then again, that's just the younger version of myself talking. I have grown into quite the Alexandra Daddario fan. I have enjoyed everything I've seen her in. She had developed a great chemistry with The Rock since they were also in San Andreas together as father and daughter. They looked very comfortable together on screen.
Ilfenesh Hadera's take on Stephanie Holden was a little more to be desired. I wanted a little more of her on screen. Stephanie was a big part of the series. Her character should have more presence in the new movie. But that could be easily remedied if this film produces a sequel. Jon Bass as Ronnie was okay. I just didn't like the character too much. Jon Bass did great with what he had to do as the character, but the character was a little dry with a few points of some really funny material. I did not find myself really caring about it as much as the other characters.
(PHOTO PROVIDED BY GOOGLE. MITCH AND HIS MENTOR)
I gave Mitch his own section because this character is the heart and sole of the entire history of everything Baywatch. This holds true when it comes to the new movie and The Rock did a great job portraying this sense of heart. Mitch held the trust of his team, the families on the beach and the rest of the entire community. Baywatch is more than being a lifeguard on the beach and in the water. It is being a lifeguard to us all in our everyday lives. He truly wanted to protect his beach goes and make sure they had no worries. That is what I took from this character after seeing the movie. That is what the character has always been about.
Baywatch has received a lot of negative press and feedback since it's release and I truly don't understand why. It was fun and entertaining. Did people expect it to be a carbon copy of the series? Did they expect the movie to only take place on a beach and saving people? I feel that the producers and writers of this movie wanted to capture the entire history of Baywatch in this film and give it more of a comedic tone. They succeeded in my opinion. They captured all of it, Baywatch, Baywatch Nights and Baywatch: Hawaii. The cameos were great and I'm happy that they found a way to get David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson in there. I went into this movie expecting to see all of that and I feel that is what I got. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Some of you may disagree based off of the things I've heard people say, but all you really have to do is know what you're watching. I'm not sure what you expected when seeing this film. Maybe it was the bad press the film received that helped me look at the film with an open mind. It doesn't deserve the bad attention it is getting and I hope to be able to see a sequel in the future.