Baywatch movie review: Priyanka Chopra sizzles as Pamela Anderson did once dressed in slinky dresses, twirling a drink and throwing grand parties, she must do so for the sake of all the women “back home” not given their due. She adds the real oomph in this tame Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron affair.
Baywatch movie cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach
Baywatch movie director: Seth Gordon
Baywatch movie rating: 1.5 stars
The only time Priyanka Chopra steps onto the beach in Baywatch, somebody brings out a footstool to keep sand out of her stilettos. Needless to say, the actor doesn’t get a bikini moment. Aah, those legs do feature, but, chances are, you can’t take eyes off those lips, which take a red-hot life of their own in a film where Chopra in James Bond super-villain mode speaks in a husky drawl delivered at the speed of trademark Baywatch slo-mo.
That is charitable, for it isn’t just that it falls on Priyanka to wield a drug-and-real-estate war on the Bay dressed in slinky dresses, twirling a drink and throwing grand parties, she must do so for the sake of all the women “back home” not given their due. And do all that while playing a villain with operations so transparent even Bollywood would reject her.
The rest of the cast, in the meantime, gets to live in lifeguard gear, save some lives, and even romance. You know, the usual stuff, amidst fit bodies and fitter clothes.
Baywatch’s Lifeguard team is now a loving “family”, in the tradition now set by Fast & Furious. And the paterfamilias, Mitch, is played by Dwayne Johnson in the same large-hearted goofy spirit of that film. Much effort is spent establishing Mitch’s role in this beach-dwelling community, with words like Batman and Superman casually thrown about by its grateful denizens, whenever someone argues that Mitch and his band do little more than stop sunburns and occasionally prevent people from drowning.
So yeah, we know who is going to step up and save the Bay when Priyanka Chopra’s Victoria Leeds gets going. That’s a kick-ass name at any rate.
Zac Efron, the other marquee star of the film and an actor with a natural charm, is badly cast as hotshot newbie Matt Brody, with two Olympic medals behind him and an attitude the size of a swimming pool around him. Of course he must be made to realise who the “real heroes” are, but really, after putting a finger up a dead man’s genitals?
Like Mitch, CJ makes an appearance from the TV series, with the pretty Rohrbach stepping into Pamela Anderson’s shoes (now that’s an adjective Ms Anderson would never have settled for). It says much for our tame times, where everyone and their mother must be kept happy, not to say markets from California to Canton, that Rohrbach sputters rather than sizzles, no matter the cleavage.
In fact, the only person with as much oomph as Anderson, evoked at the cost of much blood, sweat, tears and, not to forget, many trolls, in Baywatch is Priyanka Chopra.