Priyanka Chopra’s Baywatch gets an abysmal 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes
Things do not look up for Priyanka Chopra’s Hollywood debut. The first reviews are in and critics have mercilessly panned Baywatch, a film reboot of the popular 90’s TV show.
The film, which is the latest addition in the slew of TV show adaptations in the Jump Street movies format, is being thrashed for its immature content and bad acting.
With 42 reviews in, Baywatch currently has a 14%, “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes’ tomatometer. It is one of the least rated film on the US box office right now.
Reed Tucker of New York Post said that the film ‘washes up on the beach like a dead whale’. “It all feels woefully juvenile, and many of the jokes strain harder than Hasselhoff sucking in his gut back in Season 9,” he wrote. Tucker further criticised the film’s treatment of female characters. “The script spends much of its time developing the banter-driven relationship between the male leads, leaving the unfortunate female members of Team Baywatch little to differentiate themselves from one another beyond their cup size and hair color.”
Many critics wrote on how the expletives and the crass humour often seems forced. “The endless profusion of F-bombs seems to indicate that the screenwriters must have thought they would be paid per use,” wrote Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter.
Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty’s review lamented that even Dwayne Johnson could not save the film. “Aside from some mild laughs that come from the alpha-dog friction between Johnson and Efron, Damian Shannon and Mark Swift’s script is a lazy barrage of sad-trombone product-placement gags and red-band boobs-and-boners jokes,” he wrote.
As for Priyanka, The Guardian’s Steve Rose found that she was used only to show off her skin. “Even Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, the underused villain of the piece, looks like she was contractually obliged to show as much flesh as permissible”. Birth.Movies.Death’s Jacob Knight had similar sentiments: “the Indian goddess brings a (sadly underutilized) brainy charisma to every scene that feels fit for a better picture”. Radio Times’ Robert Luxford praised Priyanka some more. “Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra judges the mood perfectly, playing the villain with exactly the right amount of dramatic flair (“I’m not a Bond villain… yet” she teases during an interrogation),” he wrote.
However, even in this incredible rot, there are still a few (six) reviewers who weren’t totally put off by the film. Knight agreed that while the film is not the best there is, it still deserves some credit. “Baywatch could’ve been a total disaster (and will certainly take a shellacking by many critics), but the fact that it’s as diverting as it is while running at half-speed more speaks to the pleasing re-evaluation pop culture is starting to apply to the golden age of action cinema...So while it’ll certainly be easy for many to write the picture off as a shameless satirical exercise, it still packs enough chuckles to warrant at least a Saturday matinee,” he wrote.
Luxford gave the film its highest, 3-star rating. He wrote ‘Baywatch succeeds by putting its tongue firmly in its cheek’. “With Johnson, the film has a star at the height of his powers. The seemingly boundless charisma and confidence of the actor makes him a perfect fit for the leader role. He also has a surprising knack for comedy, making his back-and-forth repartee with Efron one of the film’s strengths,” he wrote.
Baywatch releases in India on June 2. The film is directed by Seth Gordon and also stars Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera and Jon Bass, with cameos by original TV show actors Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff.
Stay tuned for Hindustan Times’ review of the film.
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