Given the appalling reception it received from critics when it belly-flopped into cinemas this Summer, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this bigscreen Baywatch remake must surely rank among the worst films ever made. You'd be wrong. True, it's not some kind of underrated masterpiece, but providing you're in the mood for some deliberately crude, cheesy and over-the-top hijinks, peppered with knowing winks to the original TV series, then Baywatch is more than capable of tickling your funnybone.
It also helps that the cast clearly had a great time making the film and that infectious sense of fun is right there onscreen for all to see, helping to keep things moving when the plot (yes, there is one, involving a drug-smuggling hotel owner) begins to drag around the midway point.
Meanwhile, director Seth 'Horrible Bosses' Gordon strings together several solid action scenes and does a commendable job of countering any accusations of sexism (of the sort that dogged the original TV series) by ensuring that there is just as much man-flesh on display here (if not more, given two of the film's more graphic gags...).
Baywatch is fun, and sometimes that's enough. In fact, we'd happily see this film's cast (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario) return for a bigscreen spoof of Baywatch Nights. A pity, then, that there's now little chance of this ever happening.
Picture: Given its sun-drench setting, it should come as no surprise to learn that Baywatch hits Blu-ray with a bright and vibrant AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode. Sharp, clean and as well-defined as The Rock's abs, the Full HD imagery is never less than flawless in its handling of the intricate textures inherent in the film's digital photography. Meanwhile, primary colours pack a vibrancy that seems to leap off the screen at times. Black levels are also exemplary. Lovely stuff.
Picture rating: 5/5
Audio: The film's Dolby Atmos soundtrack isn't the most involving you'll ever hear, but is still capable of stepping up its game and making the most of its height layer when needed (as with the helicopter and fireworks during the finale). Away from this, there's good use of the surrounds for ambient effect, joined by well-balanced dialogue and music.
Audio rating: 4/5
Extras: In addition to both Theatrical (116-minute) and Extended (121-minute) cuts of the movie, the Blu-ray houses three featurettes (Meet the Lifeguards, Continuing the Legacy and Stunts & Training), plus six deleted/extended scenes.
Extras rating: 2/5
We say: A fun way to spend a couple of hours and a HD encode that's as good-looking as the film's cast.
Baywatch: Extended Edition, Paramount, All-region BD, £25
HCC VERDICT: 3/5
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