‘Baywatch’ Review Round-Up: What The Critics Are Saying

The reviews for Paramount’s reboot of the hit ’90s series Baywatch have hit the web.

Based on the ’90s series about lifeguards shot on location on the beaches of Santa Monica, CA, Baywatch follows Lieutenant of the LA County Lifeguards Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and lifeguard Matt Brody (Zac Efron) as they team up to foil a criminal plot that threatens the future of the bay designed by the villainous oil tycoon Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra).

The film currently sits at a rotten 18% on Rotten Tomatoes with the general consensus being that the film lack’s the original series’ charm as it delivers an abundance of raunchy jokes on top of a rudimentary plot.

You can check out what the critics are saying below.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman:

“Baywatch,” as a series, now looks jaw-droppingly goofy and harmless (actually, it did then too), and the movie would have been smart to satirize the show’s innocuous underworld drama and cheeseball male gaze, playing up the dated absurdity of it all. But no: The film’s director, Seth Gordon (“Identity Thief”), and its screenwriters, Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, have glommed “Baywatch” onto the theme of the moment: namely, that a bunch of good-looking SoCal lifeguards, devoted to keeping their beach a safe cool magical place, are just like — wait for it! — a family.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck:

That the film’s guiding creative ethos was apparently to push the envelope and go for an “R” rating becomes painfully clear. The endless profusion of F-bombs seems to indicate that the screenwriters must have thought they would be paid per use. The raunchy humor extends to gay panic gags strangely similar to the ones found in the recent, similarly misbegotten CHIPSBaywatch strains for a vulgarity that never comes remotely close to being funny.

The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde:

A summer franchise movie that can’t decide if it wants to be a hard-R bawdy comedy, a d-bag-comes-of-age tale or a fairly unironic reboot of the glossy TV show (which ran from 1989-2001), “Baywatch” fails at all three, despite the best efforts of the perennially game Johnson and Zac Efron, two performers who have subverted audiences’ assumptions about their limitations and have emerged as solid comic actors. It’s too bad they’re saddled with a film that somehow manages to fail to live up to the low expectations one would have of a movie called “Baywatch.”

USA Today’s Brian Truitt:

A lot of the humor just doesn’t connect and tries way too hard, from one dude getting his junk stuck in a beach chair to a running gag involving salad. Chopra, whose villainess seems bored by the whole situation, would rather be eviling it up in a James Bond movie, and the fireworks-laden climax is full of punch but leans predictable and lacks excitement.

We Got This Covered’s Matt Donato:

Seth Gordon’s cast of hardbodies may be in peak physical condition (Efron’s got garden snakes for veins), but Baywatch‘s story spills over bikini bottoms like a sea of fluffy muffin tops. The longer scenes drag on, the worse tonal confusion becomes. Please let a sequel happen because Dwayne Johnson’s squad deserves better. Baywatch built a legacy on made-for-TV sex appeal – slow-motion signatures, most obvious – but this is just a kindergarten throwaway. Dwayne Johnson’s new team needs a second chance – just make sure the writers keep it in their pants this time.

Collider’s Matt Goldberg:

Baywatch, on the other hand, is a comedy in search of an ideology. In the opening scene, it looks like it’s going to be an over the top, gleeful parody with dolphins high-fiving as the title slams down behind Mitch, who’s carrying an injured parasailor to safety. But then the movie will repeatedly to return to the notion that cops, not lifeguards, should be solving the case of drugs leaking into the bay. It doesn’t know if should deflate the bombast of its comedy or go for broke. This leaves it awkwardly standing in the middle ground, clinging to any dick joke it can find for safety.

IGN’s Gav Murphy:

Before seeing Baywatch, I felt like the whole thing had a lot of promise but unfortunately that’s hidden behind stagnant comedy which has been sold to us under the cheap guise of something recognisable from 25 years ago. 21 Jump Street worked because it was not only an unexpected genre-shift, but a genuinely funny satirical comedy with consistently strong performances and likeable characters, but Baywatch wastes its attractive cast on tired jokes and nothing – not even the element of surprise – on its side

Den Of Geek’s David Crow:

Director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) is acutely aware of what type of material this is and makes no attempt to elevate it. 21 or 22 Jump Street, it ain’t. But by diving to its shadier depths, the movie drags out a schlocky comedy filled with plenty of in-jokes at its source material’s expense and opportunities to go for the raunchy jugular. Mostly succeeding at finding that balance between humor and humorous titillation, Baywatch will make for a mildly bawdy summer night on the beach. Just don’t expect to remember too much when that hangover wears off the following morning.

So what do you think? Will you still be going to see Baywatch this weekend? Let us know in the comments below.

The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, Jon Bass, Priyanka Chopra, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Pamela Anderson, and David Hasselhoff. Here’s the official synopsis:

BAYWATCH follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) as he butts heads with a brash new recruit (Zac Efron). Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.

Baywatch hits theaters May 25.

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Michael Mistroff

Michael Mistroff

News Editor, Film/TV Reporter at Heroic Hollywood.