Baywatch Review

Remember how the movie version of 21 Jump Street was a welcome surprise? It was smart and witty with a real heart to it. Well Baywatch is everything we feared that 21 Jump Street would be. No real need to beat around the bush with this one. This movie is horrible. I grew up when the television show Baywatch was on the air. It was that international phenomenon that has made a legacy, for good and bad. The movie does not take advantage of the obvious parody material from the TV show and just makes something completely senseless and wannabe.

What’s the plot? Something about drugs being run through the beach or something like that. It was so generic and forgettable in that sense. Much humor could have been drawn from the fact that they are not cops and just lifeguards. Other than a few jokes here and there about the fact, they just play it straight. Not really pointing at the ridiculousness of the whole thing. Pretty much it plays like an episode of Baywatch just with a few more dick jokes. How many times does Dwayne Johnson use the word “taint” in this movie? I’ve never really heard anyone use that word in real life.

Dwayne Johnson is an actor who can help save any project. Not this though. He is the highlight though and you can tell that he is trying, which goes a long way. Zac Efron is pretty much just playing his character from the Neighbors movies. The rest of the cast are just there and really add nothing to the movie. The one actor that really does nothing is Jon Bass. He seems to be the new Dan Fogler or Josh Gad as the guy who is only there so that they can make fat jokes and just improv (aka scream) when the scene is going nowhere. This is a trope that is tired and needs to go away.

Just rude and crass for real no reason other than to justify the R rating. Every line is filled with profanity and not in the clever way. It is more like the way that little kids curse when there are no adults around. This movie is really trying to get by on that simple fact and fails on all aspects of it as well. More polish could have been spent towards the script to escape the more juvenile aspects of it. I shouldn’t even say juvenile because I don’t even think they will like this.

Also, this movie has a fairly decent budget. The CGI in the movie is terrible. I guess the budget would have went towards the actors. For a film set at the beach, the blue screen background is so obvious in some parts. I can forgive some of the big action pieces that involve fire and such. But not something that could have simply been filmed or had a better background palette.

Arguably this has been one of the worst movies in 2017. It’s unfortunate considering the talent in the cast and even the director. But it’s a big misfire and all cylinders. It’s hard to recommend this to anyone. I doubt even fans of the original television show would like this.

 

SCORE: 3/10

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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Review

I have to start this review by stating that I have never seen the first Neighbors movie. That being said, other than a few jokes that I could tell were referencing event from the first movie, I was never lost. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is one of those comedy sequels that does not fall flat. The main reason being is underneath all the crude and raunchy humor, this a movie with something to say. The topics that include racism, sexism, ageism and growing up.

The plot deals with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne’s characters trying to sell their house but that is threatened by Chloe Grace Moretz’s character and her new upstart sorority. The new sorority is one that is very modern as they do not want to be like other sororities, defined by men. The film never gets too preachy with its message. Moretz definitely shines as her character who is well meaning but is not as mature or as put together as she likes to think she is.

Zac Efron reprises his role from the first film. He brings a unique perspective that is plaguing a lot of people nowadays. That is the college graduate who does not know what to do with his life. He is someone clinging to the past and desperate to find somewhere to belong. The only thing that brings him purpose is him clinging to the past. He manages to be the link between all of the characters and though Efron never shies away from showing his chest, he does bring a sincerity to the role.

Rogen and Byrne also reprise their roles and they are really embracing the role of young adults entering full adulthood. With a new baby on the way and trying to sell their house to move into a bigger one, audiences can tell that they are being put through the wringer. But like all other subjects, it never gets too heavy handed.

Ultimately Neighbors 2 is an enjoyable film. I wouldn’t call it one of the funniest films that I have ever seen. However the laughs are solid and are consistent within. The messages within the film are ones that make you think but never come off as preachy. The film also has a short screen time as it barely goes over an hour and a half and so it never overstays its welcome either. It is one of rare comedy sequel that is solid and entertaining.

Score: 8/10