Film, Comedy
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)

A jokey and surprisingly effective reboot for the '90s TV classic about beach babes and hunky lifeguards

Everyone in ‘Baywatch’ seems on the verge of cracking up about being in a movie version of ‘Baywatch’ – how could they not be? The laughs in director Seth Gordon’s surprisingly fun and self-mocking comedy don’t sneak up on you so much as hail you from a mile off with an air-horn blast and then bonk you over the head. This is a film in which lifeguard Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson explodes out of the water – in slo-mo – with a rescued paraglider in his arms, while porpoises flip behind him in celebration.

The thing about this Hollywood version of the butt-ogling ’90s TV phenomenon is that, pretty quickly, it makes you feel in on the gag. Taking lessons from 2012’s wonderfully silly ‘21 Jump Street’ (in which Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill scientifically proved that bad television need not result in bad filmmaking), ‘Baywatch’ owns its preposterousness. The actors are what save it. Johnson builds on his subversive persona of hulking, dimwitted likability, and he’s joined by ‘Neighbours’ star Zac Efron, who plays a cocky, disgraced Olympic swimmer, Matt Brody, nicknamed the Vomit Comet. (Confused by his bodacious lifeguard team’s role in solving crime, Brody says it sounds like a ‘really entertaining but far-fetched TV show.’)

Because this is ‘Baywatch’, it’s crude (brace yourself for several movies’ worth of penis jokes – flaccid and otherwise), but at least the camera is an equal-opportunity lech. Kelly Rohrbach and Alexandra Daddario bring a winking awareness and unprudish confidence to their roles as beach candy, and every second of footage is caffeinated with ticking techno beats.

The best compliment you can pay this film is that when Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff do show up for their somewhat desperate cameos – neither is anything special – they actually slow the flow. The pair seem too stuck in the mud for the movie’s deft-touch postmodernism. (That’s right, I just called ‘Baywatch’ postmodern.) Those actors set the mould; today’s ‘Baywatch’ shatters it, because it can.

By: Joshua Rothkopf


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday May 12 2017
Duration: 116 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Dwayne Johnson
Alexandra Daddario
Priyanka Chopra
Zac Efron

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I loved this film a lot more than I should have. The story line doesn't really work and it is far too over the top and cheesy but it manages to pull it all together to make a decent reboot of the classic TV show I grew up with. The cameos from the old cast (Pam and the Hoff) were a nice touch and I wonder if they will have more prominent roles if they continue the reboot with a sequel. The Rock is everything you'd expect and Zac Effron always himself to be ridiculed throughout before proving himself to the team. 

All in all a good Sunday afternoon hangover film.


I'd heard good things about this film before I went to see it.  I was never a massive Baywatch fan when I was younger but I did watch it occasionally on a Saturday afternoon.  This film made me laugh a lot it was so self-deprecating and deliberately over the top, they particularly liked to poke at Zac Efron's character including calling him High School Musical.

There are quite a few in jokes throughout so it helps to have some sort of knowledge of Baywatch and the characters.  They definitely hit home on the likeness of personality traits and the antics that occurred during the TV show.  The ending and the quips in reference to it were quite amusing.

Definitely a lighthearted way to spend a couple of hours.


There was a lot of potential here... but story just got bogged down. Ended up being totally silly. I loved the self-referential opening sequences but Pamela Anderson's appearance at the end was truly bizarre... she didn't say a word! Okay she's an atrocious actor so not such a bad thing that she didn't speak but still she walks on in slo mo and says nothing! Ummmm....


Yes this happened...

Expect an action packed, cheesy and sometimes ridiculous film. But also expect to spend an enjoyable couple of hours.

This is one of those films that you just need to sit back and remenisse of our teenage years in front of the tv.


A lacking storyline however the dynamic between Dwayne Johnson's character and Zac Efron's save this film from being a complete disaster. Predictable at every turn but I guess you aren't going to watch a spinoff movie of BayWatch to be held on the end of your seat. So sit back and enjoy the light hearted vibes and witty puns Johnson continuously bounces off Efron right through to the very end which Pam Anderson fails to overshadow.


So why did I decide to watch Baywatch? I knew it would be stupid and I just wanted to see something stupid. Context: it was a depressing few days with the London Bridge attack, going back to work and having an existential crisis in relation to the attacks and also an election days later where the tories could be re-elected. 

I needed to watch something that was so ridiculous for a few hours just to feel sane again - and it worked! I went to see it with a friend at the Peckham Plex where tickets were a fiver so it didn't feel like I was spending a lot on it anyway. Though the cinema was not packed out, we all laughed loud and hard. At the beginning, I was a bit worried but the film doesn't take itself too seriously. The jokes are pretty basic. I needed a basic kinda film so I thoroughly enjoyed it - heck I was in hysterics over the morgue scene. I don't tend to watch films with The Rock or Zac Efron either and I find Efron annoying at the best of times but this is the one film I didn't mind him in. It's a bit cheesy but there are some great lines with a feminist undertone - my favourite from villain Priyanka Chopra in response to 'You're CRAZY!' 'If I was a man you'd call me driven'. 

The film isn't for everyone but I enjoyed it and have already recommended it to a few people. You may even like it more after an alcoholic beverage. 


It's Summer (more or less) - time to lighten up & find some fun. 

Bay Watch is in the cinemas & Time Out has given it **** stars.If you must rush out & discover this sad, crude, witless car crash for yourself please share your views with "Time Out".It is by no way the worst piece of s*** showing at your local multiplexor - but for Time Out's  Joshua Rothkopf to have recommended it with his just short of "top rating" leaves me (almost) speechless.