Baywatch: Babes & Bros (& lots of jokes)

As someone who barely watched Baywatch on television except for a few seconds here and there as I flipped through channels I wasn’t sure what to expect of this movie. The show never grabbed my attention but I figured with Dwayne Johnson leading the charge in this flick I’d enjoy whatever happens on screen. Not only did he deliver as Mitch Buchannon but the rest of the cast including Hannibal Buress, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, Jon Bass, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Oscar Nunez and Rob Huebel did too. 

It’s funny to see a film like Baywatch, which would appear to be a simple action movie with babes and explosions, avoiding the sexy-dumb female stereotypes and non-emotional-tough male stereotypes. The women in the film were strong, intense, clever, and dangerous in addition to being sexy. The men were definitely tough but they had moments of weakness (plus, they too were eye-candy).

I particularly enjoyed the amount of jokes at the expense of Matt (Efron) who looks the spitting image of a Ken doll: a tan plastic mold of a person. Mitch (Johnson) doesn’t hold back - from the get-go he dislikes Matt because he’s the type of guy who, aside from being really good at swimming, never had to work for much and his attitude shows it. He doesn’t care what happens to others, he doesn’t play well on a team, and his ego is unmatched. The best part might be the constant reference to boy bands whether he was calling Matt “One Direction” or “High School Musical”, I was laughing it up.

The whole gang

The whole gang

If your humor is crude you’ll surely be laughing nearly non-stop as there is no shortage of dick jokes either including a boner stuck in a beach chair and another man cupping the balls of a dead guy as we stare at a dead wiener on screen. (Also! Maybe this is weird to point out but it’s so rare to see any bits outside of butts or abs on men while we see everything a woman has that I get a little extra kick when there’s dong on screen).

Now, in all seriousness, I didn’t expect this film to be anything but entertainment. I think if you expect it to be an artsy, cerebral film you’re kidding yourself and you know better. The cinematography was typical of an action flick, I swear flame VFX should be better by now, and the acting delivers. What else could you possibly expect? Yes, there was a hint of romance but nothing that made me roll my eyes so hard they wanted to pop out of my skull. I’d recommend it if you’re a fan of comedy and action flicks - and it felt like the perfect blend of teasing and paying homage to the original Baywatch. The story wraps itself up neatly in the end, there’s growth in the characters that truly needed to grow, and there’s heart intertwining with the jokes, explosions, and sexy bods.