'Baywatch': Film has very little
of Priyanka, but it's fun (Review By Subhash K Jha ; Rating: *** 1/2)
The vicious reviews in the foreign press are hard to digest. Really,
what do you expect "Baywatch" to be? "Gone With The Wind-Surf"?
No seriously, isn't self-mockery the only way a 40-year old franchise
can survive with its head above the ocean water? "Baywatch" has a
swanky sexy swing to its gait even now. You just need to get into the
swing of things.
Do not, repeat DO NOT, get judgemental about its amplified level of
asininity, or the hammy bimbo-meets-beefcake performances. Just go with
the aqueous flow and you are bound to turn the tides of the tripe to
your own advantage.
The characters are all beachside prototypes you know, heroic in a very
There is a rescue sequence in mid-ocean where a boat catches fire. One
by one the lifeguards run into the water at high-speed, the slow-mo
credo temporarily abandoned. The valour is strictly of the dimestore
variety. And the dialogues that Mitch (Dwayne Johnson) mouths would put
Chinese cookies to shame.
A lot of the phallic/flatulence/fornication gags have been wiped out by
the Indian censor board. But you really can't remove the cheesiness out
of "Baywatch". It's like taking the cheese out of the burger.
The cheesiest of the lot "and hence the most enjoyable character" is
Matt Brody, an Olympian swimmer who has fallen on hard days but
continues to be pompous and self-obsessed to the point of seeming a
parody of Ayn Rand's Howard Rourke in bulgy trousers with biceps to
The sporting Zac Efron plays this characters with lipsmacking relish.
His over-the-top portrayal jells well with the mood of amped-up sea
slickness that this film specialises in. Efron even musters the
temerity to look at the breasts of a female lifeguard he has just
crushed over. When she points out his crass behaviour, he says it's a
Don't look for political correctness in "Baywatch". The actors just ham
for no better reason than to nail the Baywatch spirit to the nearest
lamp post and watch the neighbourhood dog pee on it.
And now for our own Priyanka Chopra. Such a massive disappointment.
Such a betrayal of trust, having told us over and over again that she
plays the arch villain, it's more like the ouch villain. She's barely
seen on screen for a few minutes. And when she does appear she hams her
lines trying to appear evil.
Priyanka Chopra is the intentional comic relief of a film that needs no
such relief. If you insist on laughter, try the nerdy Ronnie (Jon Bass).
"Baywatch" never opts for ennui as a decent alternative to smutty
entertainment.It lets out a welter of off-colour humour in scenes that
have been written to spotlight Dwayne 'Rock' Johnson's dexterity with
dumbness. You can't afford to miss his, and this film's gumption.