Beaches ain't ready
Beaches, water, and slow motion. Get ready to keep picking those suits out of your butt crack, tonight's entry is a lovely little shore of action and mystery - or something like that. I'll be honest, I was never one to watch Baywatch, so the extent of my knowledge is pretty much all in that first sentence - not that no previous knowledge has ever hindered me from enjoying something before. Either way, it's time to figure out if it's worth the watch or something to keep at bay.
This was an interesting one, kind of blending a bunch of different thoughts and plots that I've totally seen before and making a movie that at it's concept delivery is rather similar feeling because of that. The nice part is, despite what it may lack in originality, it puts the elements together in a way that's most important - fun. The plight of life guards over-stepping their bounds by tackling crime or robbery or anything else that may pop up as long as it meets that one criteria - that of being on their beach - allows for a entire suite of shenanigans. The fact that the movie is light enough to poke fun at it's own elements at time to time also helps you to realize that you shouldn't take things too seriously, which only helps for any given time the plot might require a bit of a hop to facilitate what's going on.
Of course, the poking fun also leads to the comedy element. As always, it's going to be subjective, but I laughed a few times at how stupid a joke might be, or when there was an actually well set up joke as well. I wasn't rolling at all times, but it does a very good job despite it's few serious moments of keeping up the levels of overall amusement present - you might not be laughing out loud, but you are still happy over what you are watching. There are certainly a decent number of rather crude jokes - and that's without a doubt not for everyone. There are also some self referential jokes that poke fun at the movie, such as it's use of slow motion bounding across the beach - one of the few aspects of the show I do know of - which although amusing also are never really explained. This can probably make it feel like it falls flat to some - it's basically a "what's up with that?" joke - but it still very much fits the entertainment pitch of the flick.
Undoubtedly, some of the reason the jokes that do land do so as well as they do are the actors. Some might find it strange to say that everyone does a good job here - some of the characters are quite aloof and airy - but I do feel that pretty near everything we see on screen is exactly how it was wanted to be. Sometimes, that can be a little bit of a shame - the villain is pretty generic feeling, the "change of heart" is incredibly foreseeable, and even most of the internal conflicts between characters can feel almost textbook - but the great swatch of whats visible all feels like it was meant as it is, chemistry lingo and goofy looks and all. A few outtakes are provided at the end credit scrawl, which just serves as a reminder that you weren't the only one that found some of those lines to be absurd.
The audio department does a good job balancing here. You can always hear what you need to hear, even a backhanded comment - which is a good thing for some of the jokes. The soundtrack contains that certain amount of spunk you'd expect from a beach-going movie, but also quite a bit of pop to remind you that despite the rating this is geared towards that mainstream audience looking for a good time. The folly department helps bring plenty fo scenes to life, from mundane kitchen sounds to the surf, even explosions and fisticuffs. Even with all of the things happening at once, the audio you need to hear is right there and the scene feels like it's in the place it's presenting.
The more visual effects also are nicely handled. Burning boats, explosions, over the top fireworks, and the various stunts all come off looking well done. Sure, there are some effects that look not as great as others, but considering the overall mood of the movie it never hits the point it detracts from the experience. Plenty of things were also done practically, for the types that demand real world items in their movies - although I'm sure some of those things not everyone is going to want to see practically. Just saying, you could poke an eye out. The costumes are actually rather varied as well, considering I expected wet suits the entire time.
And finally, let's talk a bit about some settings as well. The beach is nice and busy - although not overly busy and hard to follow. We also have some various scenes indoors - such as a hotel or morgue - so it isn't all just beach. Some of the under-water shots are pretty dang gorgeous as well. Generally speaking, if the setting isn't straight at the beach, the costume department gets pretty fancy with it's wardrobe attire on the main characters, ranging from stylish service with flip flops to gowns that'd give an award ceremony a run for it's money. That said, there's plenty of eye candy for both predelictions - beefy shirtles dudes and swim suit blazoned ladies. If your expecting somethign a little more revealing or detailed however, the award goes to the men for this one.
This movie gives out largely what it promises - a good time with some sun and sand and plenty of pretty people. It has some action, it brings some laughs, it can get raunchy but the entire time it's just there to have fun. While the plot elements may not stand out from the crowd, it's another fine example of why something doesn't necessarily need to be unique and one of a kind to still be enjoyable. Just keep in mind, the thing is rated R for a reason, so before deciding "it's Baywatch, fun for the entire family!" you'll certainly want to screen it yourself first.