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Movie Review: ‘Baywatch’ Can’t Stay Afloat

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Baywatch 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Baywatch is back! Read our movie review to see how the new movie holds up to the TV show:

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]aywatch offers one knowing joke that bangs its head against the wall until all the brains spill out from the damage. A handful of characters comment on how farfetched, inappropriate, surreal and dangerous it is for lifeguards to be involved with solving crimes that revolve around corruption, murder and drugs.

Baywatch 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Beach bods are essential for ‘Baywatch.’

Unfortunately, this is a gag that repeats itself with the same reaction of a shrug before going back to the silly and sub-standard plot. It’s baffling how this comedy can be so knowing of the stupidity of the TV series yet can’t recognize the failings of being just another run-of-the-mill action comedy.

Dwayne Johnson plays Mitch Buchannon, the TV role once played by David Hasselhoff, with a more muscular and much less hairy body. There’s not much to the heroic Mitch as more people remembered the name Hasselhoff than Buchannon. The same goes for Johnson as he plays himself in a role that is entirely reliant on his charisma. There’s no major arc or lesson for Johnson’s character to learn. He’s a likable guy from beginning to middle to end, rarely proven wrong, even when going against the law in his desire to bust criminals. His supporting lifeguards have either zero character or pointless arcs. How can I possibly root for the fat and nerdy trainee Ronnie (Jon Bass) to win the heart of the buxom C.J. (Kelly Rohrbach) when he already has her love from the start?

The only character who must grow in some way is trainee Matt, a former Olympic swimmer played by a buff and cocky Zac Efron, who Johnson constantly refers to by nicknames of various tween bands. Matt has fallen from grace in how he let down his team by puking during the swimming championship, earning him the title of The Vomit Comet. He’s running low on empathy and humility, but the tough job of saving lives at the beach might turn him around. Or maybe the routine action comedy plot will do the trick. Either way, it still won’t improve his boneheaded nature and he’ll still get the girl in the end with little effort.

Baywatch 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Adventure awaits on land and sea!

Baywatch certainly has the uneven tone of a TV pilot, not sure of what direction it wants to go with the material. It could go any direction given how ridiculous and desperate the show became for stories, eventually spinning off into the detective show Baywatch Nights that dealt with supernatural forces X-Files style (yes, this was a real show).

But instead of picking one direction, the movie is a buffet of executive meddling decisions. Sometimes it’s a raunchy comedy where phalluses flourish for shock value and nearly every conversation leads to talking about body parts. Sometimes it’s an overly dramatic lifeguard rescue movie where lives are on the line during critical situations. Sometimes it’s a buddy cop movie where the lifeguard angle is abandoned in favor of snooping, disguises and chases. And sometimes it’s mocking the overused slow-motion shots of the TV series, serving as a painful reminder that these shots were so ridiculous that no amount of ribbing can ever make them funnier.

Baywatch 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Detectives on the case.

I wish I could applaud the film’s faithful nature of presenting the unsure and shifting patterns of executive changes made to a TV show, but it’s much too third rate for that. It’s a bad sign when the most hilarious thing in a movie is the opening title sequence, where Johnson lifts an unconscious man out of the water, while the title rises and dolphins dance in the background.

Related: ‘Baywatch’ Red Band Trailer Features Steamy Zac Efron & Dwayne Johnson Smooch

Scenes that should be hilarious as when Ronnie performs a distracting dance that wows a crowd come off more awkward than funny. Am I really supposed to believe that the random and uncoordinated moves of Ronnie can hold an entire crowd at a ritzy party? Even C.J. seems to be into it, furthering the theory that Ronnie doesn’t require any more heart-winning acts.

Read more for the rest of the Baywatch movie review:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Have you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. 😉

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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