With summer over and so to the summer box office, I thought I would review the film that hoped to have the best summer, and flopped the hardest (who actually thought The House would succeed?). First thing is first, this is a different type of review. Baywatch flopped, there is no denying that so instead of saying how I feel about the film, I am going to talk about what I think it flopped on, what went wrong and how they could have done better. I will give my opinion but, I don’t want to focus on it too much because it is basically the same as everyone else’s. I will also question Zac Efron and The Rock’s appeal to movie-goers, and if Rotten Tomatoes actually does impact films.
Baywatch is a 2017 film starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, a big screen adaptation of the 80’s hit show – Baywatch. Dwayne Johnson stars as Mitch, a true people’s hero whose job, legacy and credentials are threatened when a new threat appears to his beach. Zac Efron is *click* *click* Matt Brody, a conflicted, self-obsessed Olympic superstar who doesn’t truly understand team-work. They come together to stop the big baddie that is…… (who am I kidding, this is all I remember)
There is so much to say, that I just want to explain a little on why I gave it a 5/10 and try to talk about the thing I liked before I really go into what went wrong. It is not a bad movie, the first twenty minutes are great, I loved them – unfortunately it was spoiled in the trailers. The cast is perfect, everyone is this film is great apart from the baddie. And that is when the film starts to go down hill. The first twenty minutes or so eventually comes to end, and the film has to start to progressing, but the path they took (as you will find out, was not the right one). I think people are saying it is rubbish without even watching it, it wasn’t a bad film, it was not good – it was OK – but the reason it is given such a low rating is because it had the chance to actually be good. As I said before, a lot of hate is incoming, so I want to list some things I liked, the cameos from David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson were good (they can be seen at #8), the soundtrack was great, and the characters were great. I loved Jon Bash as Ronnie, Kelly Rohrbach and Alexandra Daddario was fantastic – so the cast was great. Jon and Kelly have one of the best scenes in the film [but it is spoiled in the TV Spots] and Alexandra is great in the film, bringing out the best of Efron. And of course, Efron and Johnson try their best but the film sinks. So, even though I think the cast and characters were great, the film still wasn’t good, and here are eight reasons I think this:
1] IT WASN’T A BAD FILM BUT IT WAS NOT A GOOD FILM EITHER. [5/10]
5/10 equates to a C grade; an “OK” film, what I like to call “meh” (that is the first of many Emoji Movie references coming your way). Before I start reviewing it I don’t think I will talk about what I liked and hated that much but that is also a testament to the calibrate of film: I can’t even remember much. I give Baywatch a 5/10 a C. Where to start? Do I think the critical reception to the film has been harsh? Definitely, I don’t think it was the cast’s fault and that people just jumped on the wave of giving the film a lot of hate, and many people haven’t even seen it. The film isn’t good, there is no denying this but it isn’t bad either. That is no way a bad score it isn’t a bad movie and I did laugh at quite a lot of things but ultimately it could have been a lot better. The best part of the film is the beginning thirty minutes, before there is a shift in tone (something I will explain), Priyanka Chopra is miraculously bad, and her villain is poor and bad, (once again, something I will get to), with this villain I like to cite Samuel Jackson in Kingsman as the villain they should be going for. Unfortunately, after 30 minutes, this film goes downhill – it still has heart, making me genuinely care for Mitch, Brody and the other four. But the constant nagging, and the repetitive joke that went along the liens of “It is just a beach”, became so annoying that I had started to have enough of the film. After 30 minutes, it is no longer a comedy, feel good film but rather a low-budget action film with a rubbish villain, the heroes try their best but as soon as the villain enters the frame everyone that isn’t Efron or Johnson are relegated to supporting characters, and Efron’s fight with his inner demons are just forgotten. That being said, it really wasn’t that bad, there were some good liners and some genuine moments that I did laugh – but it was all spoiled in the trailers. The interesting relationship with the team and team work was intriguing, and was the only the film nailed. But, for a film with this calibre of actors, and with such hype and such a high-profile project – the story and writing HAD to be better.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Forget everything else I will say, because this is why the film failed in my opinion, the baddie was bad and the story was bad but the film fails in tone. It got the tone wrong – be cheesy (which it shouldn’t be) or be sarcastic. It tried to use cheese to be sarcastic but it didn’t work. I really liked the beginning but then the eventual “get serious” never hit the right spot. For example, the first thirty minutes were the best bits (but spoiled in the trailers), and the rest of the film was kind of rubbish, not because of Priyanka Chopra but because we all knew it had to get serious eventually and there had to be a big bad and that it was the drugs found at the beginning but the film starts off cheesy and as a joke and then it gets to serious, the investigation bit wasn’t good enough. It isn’t like this concept couldn’t have worked – case and point 21 Jump Street [above], the film was a remake from a show with Johnny Depp, but it constantly took the mick, it got the tone spot on – ridiculing Hollywood and the inevitable sequels and remakes. This is the way I though Baywatch would take, ridiculing their lack of creativity, it is only mentioned once by Efron. The only thing is Baywatch is probably more well-known – so whilst I think people saying it flopped because it didn’t have an audience was correct, it flopped because it failed in tone. It should have really gone balls to the wall, against Hollywood and taking the mick out of remakes, reboots, sequels, old TV Shows, but it should not have been cheesy, because that doesn’t work anymore.
Baywatch was absolutely destroyed critically, and (unlike what many experts may say – it was surprising that) as a result the film tanked at the box office. Many critics have contributed this to Rotten Tomatoes, I will do a full blog on this, but I just wanted to say considering the Transformers franchise is one of the highest grossing and lowest rated, I don’t think RT has as much of an impact than people are crediting it for, but rather the internet and opinions like mine have more of an impact. Now, people will mention that the Emoji Movie did well but was hated by the critics but I think that is for kids, they aren’t exactly going to know what Rotten Tomatoes are or the reviews and so are going to watch it, plus the parents really don’t care. I will address all this on a blog, because I don’t think Rotten Tomatoes has much effect but rather opinions on the internet and the internet critic site like Metacritic has more of an impact. But we must, also, address the box office appeal and question Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson. Johnson and Efron are big names that are targeted toward people my age when older people are the ones who were expected to turn out, but should the Baywatch project have actually be aimed at us?
4] BOX OFFICE APPEAL & TARGET AUDIENCE
Efron is one of my favourite comedy actors, but if we ask ourselves can he sell a film, the answer has to be no. Neighbours 2 failed, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (which was one of my favourite films from the year) also flopped. So Efron who may not be the strongest box office headliner, definitely is a strong “and…” actor. What I mean by that is, Zac Efron only improves a film if you put him as an “and…” actor, for example “It has Matt Damon in it, Will Smith, and Zac Efron”, a film like that would be strong, but I don’t think Zac Efron is a strong seller by himself, especially when it is such a bold project like a 80’s crappy TV Show. Now that may have been harsh, especially considering Efron isn’t the only one who couldn’t sell this, The Rock who single-handedly sold San Andreas, couldn’t sell this movie, when on paper “Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron” should have sold this. And we have to ask what now for the both of them, Johnson’s next movie is Jumanji 2 with a strong cast but ALOT of hate, and Zac Efron will star in some film with Hugh Jackman. And maybe just as Zac Efron, Johnson doesn’t have the star power either. Central Intelligence didn’t do great did it. But it wasn’t the strong casts’ fault, this also falls on the TARGETED AUDIENCE. Putting it as an R rated film means it was targeted towards my age group, but yet – the tie ins with the original show flew over my head. so then it had to be targeted for the older generation, the ones who watched it but they wouldn’t go out because they remembered how bad it was – plus the bad reviews were out so why would you go. Then as I was saying, the cheesy tone doesn’t appeal to them as “funny”, it isn’t in line with their target audience, and they didn’t know who to aim it at.
5] WRITING & VILLIAN
The story and the villain were both disappointing, it would’ve been better if maybe we had to guess who was the ring leader, they would never suspect her because she was always so peaceful, they could poke a bit of fun at the Bond franchise and bang, a better villain then what we got. But instead, we got a villain that everyone feared for no reason and a lacklustre final sequence that involved fireworks and two henchmen. I am not saying Priyanka Chopra was bad in this film, it is just that she isn’t given anything to do or we don’t see her power. In the beginning, when they go to her party and she is sizing them all up, you get the feeling she is not to be played with, even when she kills that guy who wouldn’t give her what she wants you get the feeling she is a force but we never get to see it. I can’t say she is bad but in line with much of the film she is very disappointing. Then moving forwards, and onto the writing and story, there was so much that wasn’t explored – Mitch and Stephanie’s relationship as an example.
6] LUCK. ATTACHING THE BAYWATCH NAME DID MORE DAMAGE THAN FAVOURS.
I did touch on this in #4, about the target audience, but maybe attaching the name of a crappy 80’s TV show did no favors. Now, I am 18, I have never seen an episode of Baywatch, and only know that it was something everyone used to take the mick out off. I only knew David Hasselhoff from America’s Got Talent, (don’t judge me, I was young) and Pamela Anderson when I grew older and heard her name in a lot of sitcoms and songs. So automatically, attaching the name Baywatch – people are going in wanting to hate it, [PREDICTION], the same will happen with Jumanji 2 – people are going to hate on it no matter what. It happened with Ghostbusters last year and it won’t be the last time that something like this but ultimately, attaching the name Baywatch and deciding to reboot the brand was a bold move, that needed more finesse and unfortunately it didn’t get that.
Whoever was in charge of the trailers probably got to see the film. They knew it was going to be crap and knew the onslaught that was due and so probably tried their hardest to save the sticky situation. A lot got given away in the trailers, and I mean basically every and any funny moment the film had, this left the movie kind of bland and people were not happy that they could just go home and re-watch all the funny bits on YouTube.
8] JUMPING THE GUN. RELAX
[Skip to 1:38, to see the part I am explaining]. Sequels are something that we all know every studio tries nowadays, but it was really annoying with this film. It was clear that they were trying to set up a second Baywatch movie even going so far to have the discussion with Hasselhoff, asking if he can be in the second sequel. Now, this was a great scene but I think that this should have tried to make the best film instead of trying to go for sequels, for example, Mitch and Steph’s relationship is something they want to explore in the second film, but it needed to be explored in the first
I hope you enjoyed this, it took quite a while to make, and I can understand if you think it is kind of a mess in format. I just didn’t want to do the same generic review as everyone else, so I just wanted to explain what annoyed me about the film. The last thing I will say is, the film is not terrible but I will always remember it badly because it could have been so great with the cast they had got on board.