Saturday, May 27, 2017

Baywatch [2017]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (O) (1 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (C-)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (J. Yamato) review (G. Kenny) review
AVClub (S. O'Neal) review

Baywatch [2017] (directed by Seth Gordon, screenplay by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, story by Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, based on the series by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz and Gregory J. Bonann) is certainly appropriately R-rated -- for both the gleefully free-flowing use of the F-word ("oh go ... yourself") as well as at least one scene, probably involving a prosthetic, that nevertheless makes it utterly inappropriate for "the little ones" (though I don't think it speaks much of the "maturity" of Viewers legitimately "old enough" to see the film).   That said, this is a legitimately enjoyable movie that THAT KNOWS WHAT IT IS: a gleeful (and still gentle / kind) send-up of the "beautiful people" subculture that existed (and perhaps still exists) on our sunnier shores.

For anybody who takes this film seriously clearly didn't get it.  And yet it's nice.  (My Beach Boys' fave "Wouldn't it be Nice? [YouTube]" even makes the soundtrack ;-)

I'd certainly ENJOY being as built as ever-smiling Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (playing the role of "chief lifeguard" Mitch BuchannonDavid Hasselhoff, who played the character in the original series, makes a couple of cameos) or for that matter Zach Efron (playing an initially "way too into himself" / a-hole of an "Olympian" named Matt Brody -- could he be based on New England Patriot QB Tom Brady?), who may have been initially "arrogant" but, well, HAD, legitimately, "much to be arrogant about ..." ;-).

Then the women, are, of course, good-to-great looking -- Sports Illustrated model Kelly Rohrback plays Pamela Anderson's role of CJ Parker.

But then there's AN ETHOS present in the film that IMHO _certainly redeems it_.  The overwhelming message of the film is "Your looks, and EVEN YOUR TALENTS are WORTH NOTHING if you don't put them into the service of WORKING TOGETHER to authentically help / save others / BUILD UP THE COMMUNITY."  And honestly, I think THAT IS GREAT.

So honestly, I was very nicely surprised.  Yes, this is an R-rated movie (for the reasons I give above).  Yet, there are worse films, with certainly _much worse massaging_ that have been made.

So GOOD JOB FOLKS, surprisingly GOOD JOB!

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