Daily Archives: September 10, 2018

Baywatch (2017)

*. You know that saying, “I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn’t think it was going to be that bad”? Well . . .
*. I’d seen the reviews and I knew Baywatch was going to be shit. But I thought it might be fun shit. Or perhaps be so bad that it would be kind of good (though that’s rarely the case even with very bad movies).
*. No such luck. Baywatch is garbage all the way through.
*. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie this stupid. Of course the plot is just nonsense. Something about an evil real estate developer who is also a drug runner who has plans to privatize beautiful Emerald Bay (which, to my surprise, turned out to be in Florida). That sort of stupidity was a given. But then there’s all the rest of it. Despite the Baywatch team being the elite of the elite lifeguards they hire this poor schlub who is only brought onboard for comic relief (except he isn’t funny). Then all the new hires are immediately put in positions of responsibility despite not appearing to even know the basics of the job.
*. Well, you may say, it’s Baywatch. It’s supposed to be silly. But this movie isn’t silly, it’s stupid. Nothing is thought out. There’s a cop (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who actually seems as if he might be funny if given a chance) who literally has no function at all in the plot. Then David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson are given cameos that are so pointless as to actually be confusing. I was shaking my head after both their appearances. What?
*. Worst of all, however, is the fact that none of this made me laugh. Mark Kermode counted five laughs. I counted none. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. But here’s the thing, I did laugh a couple of times at CHIPS, the other totally dreadful TV series-turned-into-a-movie that came out around the same time. So I can laugh at this shit. It’s just that there’s nothing funny going on here. Two of the biggest gags are as follows: (1) the loser kid gets an erection when one of the hot chicks gives him a Heimlich. In trying to hide it, he gets his junk caught in the slats of a beach chair. (2) when the team go to the morgue to do some detective work, the stud (Dwayne Johnson) gets the pretty-boy moron (Zac Efron) to inspect the area under a corpse’s scrotum.
*. I’m not being prudish here, but Baywatch was a big budget movie with a pair of big stars and a franchise name behind it. So in what comic universe are these gags considered “A” material? And they’re not even well delivered! The timing is off throughout and even the editing and continuity sucks. At least half a dozen cuts in the film didn’t line up and struck me as jarring.
*. When I say this movie is terrible I don’t mean I hate it. There’s nothing here to hate. Anthony Lane asked “Can a movie ironize itself to death, snipping away at its own reasons for existence until there is nothing left?” I think Baywatch does more than run this risk. It’s just garbage, all the way through. I can’t believe I’m even wasting my time writing this.

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