Bad Film Blues: Baywatch Rant

Don’t you just hate it when you go to a film and it doesn’t live up to your expectations?

I love going to the cinema, so when I have to come out disappointed, I tend to react strongly to it. So please bear with me as I spend today’s blog post ranting about the film Baywatch, which I went to see yesterday.

The trailer for Baywatch shows it as a very silly comedy, that doesn’t take itself seriously. Tongue is thrust firmly into cheek as they characters joke, insult and generally do crude and ridiculous things. To me, the trailer suggested that Baywatch would be along the same lines as the 21 Jump Street films, an homage but also a completely over the top comedy as well.

SPOILER ALERT (just in case you do want to see it, stop reading now)

It wasn’t that. Well… it was that a little. I think that was the problem. This film took itself too seriously. As a result, a lot of the jokes fell flat and a lot of the ridiculous situations, which would have been more acceptable in a full on comedy, left me thinking “Well that’s highly unlikely”.

Now, OK, so maybe it was a bad trailer? I went in with the wrong expectations and as a result, it skewed my opinion of the final performance?

Yes and no.

I’m fine with them taking themselves more seriously, and if I had known it would have been a film like that I would have been fine with it (although possibly I wouldn’t have spent money to go see it)

What annoyed me a lot, probably more than the lame comedy, was the treatment of women in the film.

Yes, Baywatch has a reputation for the swimsuit clad women running in slow motion that makes some people drool over them. I understand that. I knew that would probably be a major feature of the film.

It would be fine (maybe ‘more acceptable’ are better words) if the women were portrayed as strong characters, each bringing their own part to the story in their own way. But when the women in the film serve as nothing more than ‘nodding heads’ and reaction shots to what the men are saying, they are reduced to just meat to be oggled at.

I watched in horror as the women just stood, mouths wide in shock, as Dwayne Johnson’s character Mitch and Zac Efron’s character Brody banter and figure out the bad guy’s plan and contributed nothing to the conversation, or acknowledged each other’s presence. I just wanted them to say something, anything! And there wasn’t just one scene like this, it was throughout the film.

At the beginning of the film in her first scene, Alexandra Daddario’s character Summer, is show to be a badass women who doesn’t care for Brody’s advances. But for the rest of the film she is reduced to reaction shots. WHY? SHE COULD HAVE BEEN SO COOL! And then Brody ‘earns’ her kiss at the end by helping to save the day. I actually sighed loudly in frustration as it happened because it just completed the standard ‘guy gets girl’ Hollywood trope that is stupid, old fashioned and boring.

OK, I’m calm now.

I really wanted this film to be funny and nice break from reality, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

 

(Note: I meant to schedule this post for the 5th July but got distracted! So technically, this is for that day of the blog challenge… I also forgot to schedule the one for the 6th. Expect that later!)

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