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‘Baywatch’ with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron washes ashore like a dead fish: movie review

‘Baywatch’ with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron washes ashore like a dead fish: movie review
May 11
23:24 2017
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Gross, it’s not even Memorial Day and already trash is washing ashore.




“Snatched.” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” “Baywatch.”

It’s been a small wave of tropical action comedies lately, all of them skimping on the action and going light on the comedy. The only good news is most of them will be gone with the tide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ5tqzw841s

At least Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron have flex appeal in the boring “Baywatch.”

(MOVIECLIPS TRAILERS/YOUTUBE)

“Baywatch” is the latest, based on the old syndicated schlock that gave us Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra at their hottest and David Hasselhoff at his Hoffest. The new big-screen version packs likable Dwayne Johnson into the hero’s red trunks, and adds Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario as eye candy.

Silly as the TV show was, this reboot tries going for outright comedy. There’s some story about Efron, as a hot-shot ex-Olympian looking for redemption, and Priyanka Chopra as a dragon-lady/drug-lord/real-estate-mogul/murderess out to ruin the coastline.




But mostly it’s just a lot of four-letter insults, stereotypes and penis jokes. Johnson seethes a lot and Efron shows off his eight-pack — six abs aren’t enough for this guy — while Daddario smiles and swallows up everybody in those big baby blues of hers.

The idea is to have the kind of sexy, dirty fun with an old TV show that the “21 Jump Street” movies did. But those films were smart enough to load up on great comic actors, and really go for over-the-top comedy, not just smutty smirks.

 
Zac Efron as Matt Brody and Priyanka Chopra as Victoria Leeds

Zac Efron as Matt Brody and Priyanka Chopra as Victoria Leeds

(PHOTO CREDIT: FRANK MASI/PHOTO CREDIT: FRANK MASI)

After a sharp, satiric opening, though, “Baywatch” slowly sinks. The scenery is pretty, including the actors, but Johnson and Efron are better at making fun of themselves than landing zingers. And director Seth Gordon — a sitcom veteran — doesn’t know how to build the jokes into full, knock-out scenes.




Instead of mocking the period, the humor seems stuck in it. There are a lot of corny, uptight gags about big breasts, or straight guys accidentally touching or kissing each other (eww, gross!). The idea of Efron going undercover in drag is supposed to be hilarious. It isn’t.

The running-on-the-beach-scene in red swimsuits is required in "Baywatch."

The running-on-the-beach-scene in red swimsuits is required in “Baywatch.”

(PHOTO CREDIT: FRANK MASI/PHOTO CREDIT: FRANK MASI)

This is not your father’s “Baywatch!” is the usual promo line for something like this. Wrong again. Actually, this is your father’s “Baywatch.”

Just duller, and dirtier. And now $15 at your local theater.

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