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Blu-ray Review: Baywatch

August 29, 2017

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) is the self-styled head of the Emerald Bay lifeguards, working alongside CJ Parker (Kelly Rohrbach) to keep the beach safe.  When Mitch is tasked with finding three new recruits, the eager Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) and chubby underdog Ronnie Greenbaum (Jon Bass) are brought onto the team, along with former Olympic swimmer Matt Brody (Zac Efron).

Mitch and Brody immediately start butting heads, as Mitch feels his place at the top being threatened by the hot young newcomer, and Brody is desperate to prove himself.  But when drugs start washing up on shore, they are forced to work together to investigate a crime ring, with ties to a powerful real estate developer (Priyanka Chopra) who is opening a new club on the bay.

Loosely based on the TV show of the same name, but more trying to follow the 21 Jump Street formula of being both a reboot and sendup of an old series, Baywatch is a film that isn’t entirely successful, but by the same stretch delivers pretty much exactly what it sets out to do.  This is a big, stupid action comedy that is somewhat of a structural mess, but it has enough action and amusing bits to keep it watchable, and is largely held afloat by the likeable presences of Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron.

It’s a prime example of dumb summer fun, nothing more and nothing less.  While Baywatch is by no means a great film – and I’m not even sure if you could really class it as a good one, hence why I didn’t give it that high a rating – it also elicits enough mild entertainment value to be worth a rental if you’re looking for something to just turn your brain off and watch.  I didn’t hate having it on, and that’s about the best thing I can say about it.

Along with both the theatrical and extended cuts, the Blu-ray also includes a collection of deleted scenes as well as the three featurettes Meet the Lifeguards, Continuing the Legacy and Stunts & Training.

Baywatch is a Paramount Home Media Distribution release.  The theatrical version is 116 minutes and rated 14A, and the extended cut runs for 121 minutes.

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