The film version of Baywatch, the hit television drama centered around beach bodies and swimsuits, has failed to impress critics due to its heavy-handed approach to physical humor. According to Esquire magazine, Baywatch is filled with jokes about the male anatomy, and this running gag manages to become tiresome in the first quarter of the movie.
A somewhat interesting plot point in the unfortunate film revolves around Zac Efron’s character, a disgraced Olympic swimmer who is a vacuous as Ryan Lochte. The swimmer’s hard partying lifestyle ends up getting the best of him as he gets in trouble with the law over and over. A court program sends Efron’s character to perform community service as a lifeguard under the supervision of Mitch Buchannon, played by Dwayne Johnson.
Baywatch suffers from more than just trying to be funny; the original television series may have been too kitschy for its own good, but the film version goes over the top in strange ways. For example, the gorgeous female stars of the movie are never treated as mere eye candy; this was a problem and a sign of the times when the TV series was still on the air. The film switches things around by making Efron a dumb male bunny who is very easy on the eyes but very short in terms of intellect. Efron’s character is far from being a lovable loser; it is easy to laugh at him but he does not have any redeeming traits aside from the fact that he actually makes fun of the film’s ridiculous plot of lifeguards investigating a sophisticated crime organization that deals in designer drugs.
Not surprisingly, Baywatch has enjoyed a decent run at the movie theater, and the production team is actually considering a few sequels. One of the ideas being evaluated is to write a screenplay that would take the lifeguards to the beaches of another country where the eye candy would be more plentiful. On Twitter, fans of the film are pondering whether Rio de Janeiro could be an ideal location for the Baywatch sequel; after all, the violent video game franchise May Payne based its third installment in Brazil.
One bright spot of the Baywatch film is Kelly Rohrbach, who played the character that Canadian bombshell Pamela Anderson brought to life in the series. Critics have commented that Rohrbach’s amazing looks do not betray her comedic skills; this is definitely an actress to watch as she takes on more challenging roles.