2/4

Baywatch [2017] ★★

Nobody was expecting a masterpiece, but director Seth Gordon’s failure to give this big screen adaptation of the TV hit “Baywatch” any reason to exist will most certainly rank as one of the year’s biggest disappointments. The 90’s show starring David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson (who both have a cameo here) wasn’t revolutionary in any way, but it was fun and certainly memorable. But as soon as the movie opened, I had a bad feeling about it. Indeed, I wasn’t wrong: it was stupid right from the start, as we meet devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson, probably the best thing about this movie) and his new team, including Alexandra Daddario and  Zac Efron. The plot “kicks-off” when they uncover a sinister plot involving a greedy developer and a bunch of corrupt local officials. Or something like that. Cue the silly jokes that (mostly) fall flat. And cue the high-octane action scenes that get repetitive as we move along. Dwayne Johnson throws everything he can to make this sound more fun than it really is. Even when he misses, you still applaud his effort (hence the two stars). As for Zac Efron, acting isn’t one of his best gifts, so the movie has him repeatedly taking his shirt off. Director Seth Gordon (who did such a fine job with “Horrible Bosses” a few years ago) can’t seem to get a rhythm going. As a result, “Baywatch” is generic and as forgettable as a fast food meal.

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