When it comes to films based off of TV shows, you never really know what you’re going to get. However, in the last couple of years, the result is ultimately an R-rated comedy. Take CHiPS for example. The original show was an hour-long drama, which was ultimately transformed into a typical R comedy…well, the same ultimately comes down to Baywatch, based off a show I also never watched. All I was aware of when it came to the show was the things people stereotypically made fun of – which truthfully makes more sense to use in a comedy than the other film. That’s all to be decided though. Let’s get into it.
“In sun-kissed Emerald Bay, the vigorous Lieutenant Mitch Buchannon and Baywatch, his elite team of hand-picked and perfectly tanned lifeguards, protect the bay, keeping both sunbathers and beach lovers safe. However, this summer, two new eager trainees will join the demanding life-saving program, as well as an insubordinate former Olympic swimmer, who are all called to prove their worth on the lifeguard towers just on time when a new synthetic street drug begins to infest the Emerald Bay: the flakka. Without a doubt, this calls for some serious undercover teamwork action, as the badgeless heroes in spandex comb the beach for shady newcomers and nefarious entrepreneurs with hidden agendas of their own. Can Mitch’s band save the bay?” (IMDb)
I’ll say it again, I don’t really have that much knowledge in the TV show, but the movie did a good job, at least, of reminding us what was always the butt of the joke when it came to Baywatch. At the same time, it really broke the rules when it came to filmmaking. When Mitch talks to [spoiler alert] the original Mitch (Hasselhoff)…it simply makes no sense. Sure, have the original cast show up as cameos, not as their original characters that are being played by a new cast…I don’t care what kind of joke you’re trying to grasp at…it makes no sense. Other than that, I’ll just say this much…it’s an R-Rated comedy doing what R-Rated comedies do…which ultimately makes it a bit unremarkable.
These are all just first impressions, though. Let’s go ahead and break down Baywatch to interpret the stars.
TITLE – Baywatch
Year – 2017
GENRES – ACTION, COMEDY
POSSIBLE AWARDS – Adaptation, Disappointing
PEOPLE SCORE – 5/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 1
First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting. The acting was neither terrible or great, mostly typical and forgettable. The characters were fine, but I won’t be remembering them forever. I think everyone did a fine job in the role, but that doesn’t mean they were the only actor for the job. In this film, there were characters that certainly held independent importance and purpose, but not enough. The main characters basically held the importance while everyone else sorta of blended together. As far as the chemistry goes in this film, there wasn’t much of it. While it was fine, no one really cares about the relationships in this film.
WRITING SCORE – 3/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 0|Story – 0|Originality – 1|Interesting – 1
Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue subcategory…which was as unremarkable and forgettable as the meal you had last Tuesday afternoon. Talk about a busy film. This is basically as over-convoluted as you can get a film. That means it’s either got too many locations, storylines, characters, or a combination of those things, which this film definitely has. So, how was the story? To that, I say what story? Say what you will about the film, it simply has no meaningful story that really warrants a viewing. Is the film original? Well, I think elements of the film definitely feel fresh and new, but there’s always an itching feeling that we’ve seen this film before…so it’s not as original as it could’ve been. I’d say I was interested enough to watch the film, but as I watched the movie, my interested died down pretty rapidly and was gone before the film ended.
BTS SCORE – 6/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
Next up, we’re taking a look at behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals. In this case, the visuals were pretty standard and typical to what you’d expect. Nothing blows you away, nothing looks horrible, either. It is what it is, folks. Next, we’re taking a look at the directing, which slips by without you noticing it. That’s right, there wasn’t anything difficult or challenging for the director. They could’ve hired any director for the job and the movie would be exactly the same. Nothing challenging or difficult in the editor’s desk, folks. They stitched the movie together just fine, but there’s nothing else to report here because even a kid could probably do it. As with most films, I consider this film to be exactly as advertised, which is good. There wasn’t anything fancy or memorable about the music. It was basically as good as it needed to be in order to keep the tone in place…and that’s what they did here, as well.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 8/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 1|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1
Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? It was okay, I’ll put it that way. It wasn’t really all that clear because you never really feel like there is a ‘never going back’ moment, but it is what it is. How were the obstacles? Totally fine. There were plenty of clear obstacles in the way, just as you’d come to expect. How was the climax? The climax was perfect. It felt like a perfect culmination of everything else put together, just as it should. Alright, so how was the falling action? Well, it started to calm things down a little bit, but other than that, not the best. You never get the sensation that they are returning to a new norm, so it’s not a complete falling action.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 1/10
Rewatchability – 0|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 0
Now, we get to ask the age-old question on if this movie is even entertaining! It’s not the best start since I wouldn’t rewatch it if my life depended on it. Okay, that’s a bit harsh, but I honestly don’t see me ever looking for it in order to see it again. Did I have fun while watching it, at least? To a degree, yeah, but that really just had to come down to a few scenes here and there, not the entire film. Do I have any impulse to buy it? No way, Jose! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? I really have no impulse to tell anybody about it, honestly. Does this suck you in, though? No, not really. If anything, it has more opportunities to push you out than suck you in.
SPECIALTY SCORE – 35/50
Adaptation – 5|Action – 10|Comedy – 5|Concept – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
We now move onto the specialty category, containing five questions that I asked before seeing the movie. First of all, how does this do as an adaptation? It’s hard to say because I’m not super familiar with the TV show. That being said, it almost got full points because it did feel like its own entity without relying on knowledge of the show…that is until David Hasselhoff showed up, moving the score down. How was the action? Well, they definitely overdid that aspect, so I’ll at least give that full points. What about the comedy aspect. As per usual, it works in some spots and not in others. How about the concept of lifeguarding? Well, part of the gimmick is that they don’t always just lifeguard…they sort of act like a judge, jury, and executioner for the beach, and that’s not really what I was expecting here. In a way, it was a little too much, so I’ll just give half points there. Finally, was it halfway decent? It really depends on who you ask, but I think the director delivered what they wanted to, so I gotta give it some praise there, full points.
TOTAL – 58/100