Lightning Review: Baywatch

Baywatch movie posterSynopsis
Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and his team of lifeguards protect the beaches of Emerald Bay, Florida. When drugs start appearing on his beach, Buchannon and his team, including new recruit and former Olympic swimmer Matt Brody (Zac Efron), work to expose the criminal behind the drugs, Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra).

Review
I don’t know much about the Baywatch television series, other than it starred Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff as lifeguards, as well as gratuitous amounts of slow-motion running. Based on the cast of Baywatch and the tone of the trailers, I figured this movie would have little to do with the show its characters come from. So while I can’t make any comparisons to the source material, I can tell you how it stacked up as a movie: it was hilarious. Both Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron can be very comedic actors. Yet, if they don’t have a good person to bounce off of, their one-liners can only do so much. These two together have fantastic chemistry and are absolutely side-splitting. Every scene had jokes flying rapid fire and while not all of them stuck, they were onto the next one before you could really process it.

Most of the jokes between Johnson and Efron consist of crude and insulting jokes and one-liners. Like all humor, it is subjective, so it might not be your cup of tea but if you’ve read any of my other comedy reviews, you’ll know that this my kind of comedy. Of course, the rest of the cast was good as well, particularly Yahya Abdul-Mateen and Pryanka Chopra. Abdul-Mateen has some funny lines as a local police officer exhausted of the lifeguards trying to be investigators. Last summer I binged season one of the show Quantico, which stars Chopra as the protagonist. It was fun to see her on the other side as the antagonist. Since the setting for this movie is on a beach, there are a lot of shirtless men and bikini-clad women. No matter your preference, there is plenty of eye candy for everyone. 😉

I thought Baywatch was GREAT 😀 I’m sure that if compared to the original Baywatch television series, these two have nothing in common. However, as a film taken on its own merit, it is fun and humorous. In the next few years, it will be interesting to see how the film and the jokes hold up. It feels like a generic action-comedy you would expect these days, but it is a generic action-comedy I enjoyed from start to finish.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Seth Gordon – Director
Jay Scherick – Story
David Ronn – Story
Thomas Lennon – Story
Robert Ben Garant – Story
Damian Shannon – Screenplay
Mark Swift – Screenplay
Christopher Lennertz – Composer

Dwayne Johnson – Mitch Buchannon
Zac Efron – Matt Brody
Alexandra Daddario – Summer Quinn
Kelly Rohrbach – CJ Parker
Ilfenesh Hadera – Stephanie Holden
Jon Bass – Ronnie Greenbaum
Rob Huebel – Captain Thorpe
Pryanka Chopra – Victoria Leeds
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – Sgt. Garner Ellerbee
Amim Joseph – Frankie
Jack Kesy – Leon
Hannibul Buress – Dave the Tech
Oscar Nuñez – Councilman Rodriguez
Clem Cheung – Murray Chen

Lightning Review: Dirty Grandpa

Dirty Grandpa movie posterSynopsis
After his wife’s passing, Richard “Dick” Kelly (Robert De Niro), convinces his grandson, Jason (Zac Effron), to travel with him to Daytona Beach to get laid.

Review
I want to state that Dirty Grandpa has a very juvenile sense of humor. What else would you expect from a film about an old man going to Daytona Beach to have sex? Now for me, I have the mind of a thirteen-year-old so the humor is right up my alley. I laughed and that’s what I like out of a comedy. However, the humor in this film is shallow and relies on the absurdity and immaturity of its jokes to get the laugh. This can be a big turn off to most viewers (mainly those who are more mature than I am). If you understand that, then you know what kind of movie you are in for. As for the rest of the movie, it is very predicable and cliched. By the end of the first act, it is easy to call where Zac Efron’s character arc is heading. It’s a shame because the potential for a good story about a grandpa wanting to reconnect with his grandson was there, especially with Robert De Niro. It could have even been a raunchy comedy like they were aiming for. Instead they went for the easy sex jokes, which completely ruined any chance of a genuine movie.

I thought Dirty Granpda was OK :-|. The humor is not for everyone (read most people). I laughed but I’m not the best measuring stick for mature comedy. De Niro and Efron made for a good pair but the story and script wasn’t there to back them up.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Dan Mazer – Director
John Philips – Screenplay
Michael Andrews – Composer

Robert De Niro – Dick Kelly
Zac Efron – Jason Kelly
Zoey Deutch – Shadia
Aubrey Plaza – Lenore
Jason Mantzoukas – Tan Pam
Dermot Mulroney – David Kelly
Julianne Hough – Meredith
Adam Pally – Cousin Nick
Mo Collins – Officer Finch
Henry Zebrowski – Officer Reiter