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Baywatch Movie Review: Trashy Revival of the Muscle-Beach Series


Baywatch Movie Review: Trashy Revival of the Muscle-Beach Series

Baywatch Movie

Girls from the ‘Baywatch’ reboot.

Title: Baywatch
Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Ilfenesh Hadera, Jon Bass.

The television action series of the nineties, that made history on the beaches of Los Angeles, gets reshaped into a feature film directed by Seth Gordon. Audiences surely did not feel the urge of the movie ‘Baywatch,’ which follows the leadership of the new Mitch Buchannon – played by Dwayne Johnson whose role was originally shaped by David Hasselhoff – and his team of lifeguards. However, reboots are what currently defines cinema of the 21st century.

The film moves location from California to the Emerald Bay in Florida, where the Baywatch crew has a complete makeover: C.J. Parker, who was the object of desire from several men on the beach through the voluptuous silhouette of Pamela Anderson, finds a worthy heir with Kelly Rohrbach. Second-in-command Stephanie Holden, whose role once belonged to Alexandra Paul, gets handed over to Ilfenesh Hadera; just as Nicole Eggert’s Summer Quinn is bequeathed to Alexandra Daddario and the hotheaded Matt Brody, once embodied by the charming David Charvet, gets a millennial make over with Zac Efron. The novelty in the Baywatch brand is that also average bodies can aspire to become part of the lifeguard team, as the character of Ronnie attests played by the chubby Jon Bass.

The writing skills of Damian Shannon and Mark Swift deliver a witty and amusing exchange of dialogues, that is neatly nestled in a fairly predictable denouement. Seth Gordon tries to bring back the aura of the legendary characters but does not fully succeed. Not even the cameos of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson reprise the allure of the lifeguards breaking through the waves on the notes of Jimi Jamison’s “I’m Always Here.” Nevertheless the trashy revival of the muscle-beach series has its moments of amusement, especially when we see “The Rock” making fun of the “High School Musical” kid.

Technical: B
Acting: C+
Story: C
Overall: C+
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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