I’ll be up front with you. I think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is unquestionably the biggest movie star in the world right now, is one of the most charismatic actors in the business. Just by appearing in a film, he elevates it to a higher level. I find Alexandra Daddario to be the most beautiful women on the planet (those eyes and… other things), and her presence in a movie or TV show guarantees I will check it out. On the other hand, I find Zac Efron to be one of the single most annoying actors working today, and having him in a movie tends to spoil it. Finally, as I stated in a previous review, I think this whole ” TV drama to movie comedy” is becoming increasingly frustrating. In all my years of going to movies, I’ve never been so conflicted before seeing a film as Baywatch.
Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) and his crew of lifeguards have been keeping the beaches of LA County safe. They hold annual tryouts for new team members, and their most recent recruits include Summer Quinn (Daddario) and Matt Brody (Efron), who is a disgraced former Olympic swimmer. When little bags of drugs are discovered washing up the beach, the team take it upon themselves to investigate and discover that local business woman Victoria Leeds (Chopra) is behind it. Despite be ordered to leave it alone, the crew keep trying to take her down.
As I said above, I had no idea what to expect, but I did think I was going into an R-rated comedy. Instead, I got to watch a comedy that had a surprising amount of drama in it. All the promos made it look like a wacky version of a cheesy 90’s drama, and it really wasn’t. What is most surprising though is that the movie actually worked… when it wasn’t being funny. There is just something weird about watching a scene about someone trying to work their life out and follow it up with a penis joke. If they had actually just dropped the goofy stuff, it would have been a significantly better movie. The dramatic scenes had impact and the action pieces were actually incredible. The comedy was just… meh.
Make no mistake though, the main reason this movie is watchable is Johnson. He is one of those actors I’d watch sitting in a chair for 3 hours. It is not a good movie by any means, but it’s an OK way to spend a couple hours. At least it has ended the run of unwatchable adult comedies that have been coming out lately.