Pretty much the only entertaining movies based on classic TV shows are “Starsky and Hutch” and the “21 Jump Street” movies, whereas some (I won’t point out any names) are either mean-spirited or reckless. That’s the case with “Baywatch,” which is so mean-spirited, sexist, obnoxious, irritating, and unfunny, it makes “21 Jump Street,” another R-rated romp, look like “Winnie the Pooh.” I’m just glad I skipped “Chips.”
The show is based on a lifeguard television series that starred David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. I never once watched the show, but I know for a fact that their cameos are just as tasteless as Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo’s in the dreadful reboot “Vacation.” Sorry boys, but I can’t praise a movie for just the babs.
Dwayne Johnson stars as Baywatch’s top lifeguard Mitch, who has his hands full when an Olympic champ-turned-internet fool named Matt Brody (Zac Efron) joins the team, and thinks he’s too good to train. An evil businesswoman (Priyanka Chopra from TV’s “Quanitco”) is running a drug operation and leaves dead bodies (Oscar Nunez and Hannibal Buress) on their beach. So Mitch, Brody, and their team must play detective to crack the case, which by the way, we already knew what was going on.
Johnson and Efron are both among the best talents around, and they could have been great action comedy heroes, but “Baywatch” wastes them by making them argue and trade one-liners and sexual jokes with each other, barely offering a little sympathy. You also have an uncomfortable joke involving a chubby trainee’s (Jon Bass) hard Johnson being trapped between a chair, and everyone taking pictures of him (I don’t want to describe how it starts). The special effects are crappy, the profanity is flat, the villainess is sometimes irritating, and one funny quote (I laughed in my head) is now less amusing. This is one of the worst comedies of the year.