Hollywood should thank its lucky stars for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who exudes old-school movie star charm so powerful it can make even the most hackneyed dud vaguely tolerable. That’s certainly the case with Baywatch, an astonishingly bland retread of the famously cheesy 1990s TV drama. Whereas 21 Jump Street found critical and commercial success with its R-rated reboot, Baywatch substitutes jokes and plot for cringeworthy millennial jargon and Farrelly Brothers-style penis gags that were only borderline funny in 1998. While Johnson shines, the likes of Priyanka Chopra and Hannibal Burress, both criminally underused as the film’s villain and sidekick respectively, are left to waddle. The original series was a deliciously gaudy soap opera filled with over-the-top characters, but the film adaptation merely panders to middle-of-the-road machismo.
Baywatch | Directed by Seth Gordon (USA 2017) with Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron. Starts June 1
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