BAYWATCH — Review by Susan Granger

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This raunchy, big-screen riff off TV’s ‘90s action-comedy “Baywatch” kicks off the silly summer season with tryouts for the elite team of tanned, toned lifeguards that patrol Emerald Beach. Under the watchful eye of no-nonsense Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson), the wannabees are narrowed down to pudgy Ronnie Greenbaum (Jon Bass), sassy Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) and cocky Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a disgraced bad boy who thinks his two Olympic gold medals should make him a shoo-in. Continue reading…

Meanwhile, Mitch realizes there’s a drug smuggler in their midst, and he suspects slinky, scheming Victoria Leeds (Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra), who just opened the posh Huntley Club and seems determined to acquire all the nearby coastal real estate.

Since the local policeman (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) won’t take him seriously, Mitch realizes it’s up to him and his squad to preserve the sanctity of their beachfront.

Working from Damian Shannon and Mark Swift’s smart-ass screenplay, director Seth Gordon (“Identity Thief,” “Horrible Bosses”) relies on lots of campy running in slo-mo, and it’s as cheeky as the zippered, red spandex swimsuits worn by Mitch’s sexy cohorts C.J. Parker (model Kelly Rohrbach) and Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera).

Showing a snarky streak, Mitch steadfastly refuses to refer to Matt by name, dismissively calling him One Direction, N’Sync, Bieber and High School Musical – as their chiseled ‘bro’ chemistry clicks. Less amusing are the grossed-out male genitalia jokes.

There are a couple of exciting sea-rescue sequences, plus nostalgic cameos by TV stars David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson.

Full Disclosure: My son, Don Granger, is one of the Executive Producers.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Baywatch” breezes in with a slyly splashy 6. Skip the sunscreen and stay for the post-credit bloopers.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.