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‘Baywatch’ Critical Roundup: Reviewers Are Not There for Dwayne Johnson’s Remake of the Hit ’90s Series 

Critics are not too pleased with Seth Gordon's reboot.



The reviews are in for “Baywatch,” which opens in theaters this Thursday, May 25. Seth Gordon’s feature film remake of the iconic ’90s series about a group of very hot lifeguards stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as devoted rescuer Mitch Buchannon (the role played by David Hasselhoff in the original series), who has a really hard time with a reckless new recruit named Matt Brody (Zac Efron).

Priyanka Chopra co-stars as the villainous vixen, Victoria Leeds, Alexandra Daddario is Summer, Ilfenesh Hadera is Stephanie and Kelly Rohrbach takes on the role of C.J. Parker (originally played by Pamela Anderson).

READ MORE: ‘Baywatch’ Trailer: Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron Save Lives and Fight Crime

In their B- review for the film for IndieWire, Judy Dry describes it as “a splashy summer hit full of dick jokes,” adding that “something about the blow-up floaties, the water rescues, and the red suits just screams summer blockbuster. ‘Baywatch’ won’t blow anything out of the water (except for the boat it sets on fire), but it will certainly make a splash.”

However, other critics were not too pleased with film. Read some reviews below.

In his C review for Entertainment Weekly, Chris Nashawaty wrote:

“It’s official: we’ve now entered the critical, Code Red phase of Hollywood’s remake epidemic. What seemed to start off as a winking and benign recycling of the pop culture past has mutated into something far more insidious. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ‘Baywatch’ — the rare movie that even the Teflon-coated, thousand-watt charisma of Dwayne Johnson can’t save. It’s possible that this sloppy, scattershot nod to ’90s jiggle TV was inevitable. After all, we’d already cycled through such wafer-thin small-screen flotsam as ­’Charlie’s Angels,’ ‘The A-Team,’ and ‘CHiPs.’ Freakin’ ‘CHiPs’?! But apparently the barrel of disposable retro television properties is as bottomless as Nietzsche’s abyss.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck:

“Andy Warhol got it wrong. It’s not that everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes; it’s that all moderately successful, mediocre television shows are destined to be reborn as feature films. The latest example of the distressing trend attempts to wink knowingly at its inspiration. But a character acknowledging that the proceedings resemble an “entertaining but far-fetched TV show” isn’t enough to make ‘Baywatch’ anything more than the cynical cash grab that it is.”

TheWrap’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.'”

The Guardian’s Steve Rose:

“Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron go chest to chest in a limp big-screen update of the 90s TV show that doesn’t have the wit or stamina to stay afloat.”

Screen Daily’s Tim Grierson:

The listless, witless ‘Baywatch’ belly-flops while trying to emulate the irreverent action-comedy template popularized by the ’21 Jump Street’ films. Leaning in to the original series’ knowing cheesiness, this beaches-and-babes goof looks to make a virtue of its empty-headed spectacle, but Seth Gordon isn’t an incisive enough director to satirize or relish the buffoonery on display. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron have been sprightly comedic presences in the past, able to spoof their hunky physiques and dumbbell personas — but, here, they’re just all wet.

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