Yes, I used to watch Baywatch back in the 90s when it was on ITV, it was part of their classic Saturday night line-up and for some reason (I say ‘some reason’ but in reality Yasmin Bleeth may have informed my decision in my teenage years) it was also a definite part of British culture with Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff on fine small-screen TV form.
Bringing Baywatch to the big screen was an odd thought when first mentioned but with Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Kelly Rohrbach and Alexandra Daddario they’re following that simple formula of attractive people with the ability to bring in the crowds. Sure it’s a little out of date in some form, but Baywatch  is unexpectedly amusing and even better with a few beers, more friends and some good old silly American comedy, that oddly also seems to find a feel-good centre.
Obviously behind the fun there’s got to be some drugs-related drama going on and a serious centre to it all. Johnson plays the legendary Mitch Buchannon and after drugs start washing up on the beach, he eventually takes his rag-tag crew of lifeguards, who are also super-skilled, and starts to try uncovering what’s going on. There are no real complications here, and you can see it coming a mile off, but it’s achieved reasonably well with a number of rather entertaining set-pieces.
The downside of some of these 80s re-boots is the forced ‘outrageous’ comedy they try and sell, by basically putting people in silly situations and thinking they’re funnier than they are. Thankfully, Baywatch doesn’t push that too much – despite a lot of jokes in the trailers – there’s some good natural chemistry between the cast and this is what makes it work more impressively than other similar work out there. Efron and Johnson really pick each other apart amusingly but it’s also Jon Bass’s Ronnie who stands out from the crowd alongside Rohrbach’s CJ.
Baywatch is as dumb as you’d expect it to be but it does it with heart, good cameos alongside fun scenes, despite obvious silliness. Whether they’d need another instalment is very debatable but it’s worth a watch if you’ve got any kind of nostalgia for the original series.