DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main

Seth Gordon
Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario
Writing Credits:
Damian Shannon, Mark Swift

Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon butts heads with a brash new recruit as they uncover a criminal plot that threatens the future of the bay.

Box Office:
$69 million.
Opening Weekend
$18,503,871 on 3647 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R/Unrated.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby Atmos
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
English Audio Description
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 116 min. (Theatrical)
121 min. (Extended)
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 8/29/2017

• Both Theatrical and Extended Versions
• “Meet the Lifeguards” Featurette
• “Continuing the Legacy” Featurette
• “Stunts & Training” Featurette
• Deleted & Extended Scenes


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Baywatch [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 21, 2017)

Following in the footsteps of 2012’s 21 Jump Street, a 1980s dramatic series leaps to the big screen via 2017’s Baywatch. The story takes us to Emerald Bay Florida, a location where Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and his “Baywatch” team keep the beaches safe.

Into this team steps Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a former Olympic swimmer. Matt butts head with his mentor Mitch but the pair need to come together when a drug lord threatens the community.

Director Seth Gordon started his cinematic career with the genuinely delightful documentary King of Kong. Maybe Gordon should’ve stayed with non-fiction, as his move to features hasn’t fared so well.

Prior to Baywatch, Gordon directed three comedies: 2008’s Four Christmases, 2010’s Horrible Bosses and 2013’s Identity Thief. Bosses offered reasonable entertainment, but the other two stunk – and stunk to high heavens.

Baywatch turned into one of summer 2017’s most notable box office disappointments. Even with Johnson’s star power and the fame of the TV show, it made a lackluster $58 million in the US. With an extra $118 million elsewhere, the film didn’t totally bomb, but it certainly didn’t live up to commercial expectations.

Perhaps one lesson to take stems from the nature of the source. While not an overt comedy, the Baywatch series veered so far into the realm of camp that one couldn’t call it a “serious” drama.

That means Baywatch the movie wanted to spoof a spoof, a choice that comes with risks. How do you mock a series that already made fun of itself?

Answer: with a lot of dick jokes. At least that’s the path Baywatch takes, as it opts for crassness over cleverness.

Not that the film doesn’t try to be clever. In a “wink-wink” choice, it takes Brody’s name from two Jaws characters.

Also, as part of a running theme in which Mitch uses disparaging nicknames for Matt, Brody gets referred to as “High School Music”. This gets an extra layer of meaning because Efron gained fame as part of that Disney franchise.

All that and a self-effacing cameo from David Hasselhoff! If Baywatch boasted any real creativity, its jokes would score, but instead, they come across as superficially clever and nothing more.

I refer to Baywatch as a spoof, and I stand by that, but it delves into action in a more “serious” manner that I expected – and that’s a problem, as it leaves us with an unfocused movie. Baywatch doesn’t know which genre it wants to embrace, so it flops in both ways, as it lacks wit or thrills.

While Baywatch comes with a fairly talented cast, none of them can make any humor out of this limp, muddled effort. Again, the dual “action-comedy” nature of the project becomes an issue, as it feels like Johnson, Efron and the others can’t decide which direction to choose.

This leaves them in limbo. The actors don’t commit to either the comedy or the action, so they can’t bring out the potential in either realm.

Would a more comedic Baywatch or a straight action version have fared better than this confused mess? Maybe – they really couldn’t be worse. As it stands, this becomes a slow, witless experience.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Baywatch appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I expected a strong visual presentation and that’s what I got.

Sharpness looked very good. A couple of wide shots appeared slightly soft, but those were in the minority, so most of the flick came across as accurate and concise. The flick lacked shimmering or jaggies, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws, either.

Like most modern action movies, Baywatch opted for an orange and teal palette. Within those constraints, the colors appeared full and well-developed.

Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. I felt pleased with the movie’s picture quality.

Also strong, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Baywatch delivered good material. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the soundscape mustered a fine sense of place, as the audio plopped us in the settings and action in a convincing, engulfing manner. These elements used all the channels in an immersive way, and the score also gave us good presence.

Audio quality seemed solid. Music was lively and lush, while effects appeared accurate and dynamic. Speech appeared natural and distinctive. This was a consistently pleasing soundtrack that fit the material.

In addition to the film’s theatrical version (1:56:27), the disc provides an extended cut (2:01:22) of Baywatch. Because I only watched the longer edition, I can’t comment on the differences, but I wanted to mention that both appear here.

Six Deleted & Extended Scenes fill a total of 10 minutes, six seconds. These tend to expand existing concepts, though we get a new thread in which a waiter thinks Ronnie wants to have sex with him. Neither it nor the other clips offer much amusement, but we do get Devin Ratray – Buzz from Home Alone - as the waiter.

Three featurettes follow. Meet the Lifeguards runs 21 minutes, 36 seconds and offers notes from director Seth Gordon, producer Beau Flynn, and actors Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Ilfenesh Hadera, Jon Bass, Roob Heubel, Priyanka Chopra, Kelly Rohrbach, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

As expected, “Meet” looks at cast, characters and performances. This tends to be a fluffy program packed with jokes and happy talk.

Continuing the Legacy goes for nine minutes, 27 seconds and features Gordon, Johnson, Efron, Chopra, Daddario, Rohrbach, Bass, Flynn, producers Michael Berk and Douglas Schwartz, executive producer Michelle Berk, writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, and actors Hannibal Buress and Pamela Anderson. “Legacy” discusses the original TV series and aspects of its adaptation for the big screen. Like “Meet”, “Legacy” offers a whole lot of fluff with little substance involved.

Finally, the nine-minute, nine-second Stunts & Training provides comments from Johnson, Bass, Flynn, Efron, Rohrbach, Gordon, Hadera, and actor Oscar Nunez. Like one assumes, “Stunts” looks at the physical aspects of the production. Like the other featurettes, it comes with scant informational value.

An attempt to update the kitschy TV series, Baywatch can’t decide if it wants laughs or thrills. As a result, it provides neither and becomes a dull, forgettable film. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio as well as mostly mediocre supplements. Baywatch becomes a limp excuse for an action-comedy.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.2857 Stars Number of Votes: 7
3 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Main