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Culture Film & TV

Comedy masquerading as sexism: where Baywatch falls short

“Baywatch” is a film directed by Seth Gordon, and it follows the story of a team of lifeguards who do much more than simply prevent children from drowning.

Featuring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, “Baywatch” touches on themes such as teamwork, effort, persistence, and sacrifice. The team of lifeguards, known as Baywatch, is led by Lieutenant Mitch Buchannon (Johnson). One summer, the Baywatch team searches for new recruits and finally settles on three: Ronnie, an awkward, ‘uncool’ guy who demonstrates commitment to the team, Summer, an experienced surfer who is incredibly excited to have been chosen, and Matt Brody (Efron), who acts as though he is above the rest of the team due to his celebrity status as a former Olympic swimmer.

Despite their differences, members of the Baywatch team are forced to learn how to work together to investigate a case that arises on their beach. The Baywatch team surpasses its duty to maintain beach safety in order to discover the connection between a mysterious death and an undercover drug ring run by a powerful woman on the beach.

Although the movie sends an overall positive message about perseverance and teamwork, “Baywatch” is also riddled with sexism. Quite honestly, the movie would be just as good without it. The female lifeguards wear incredibly revealing swimsuits that aren’t at all realistic, are very objectifying, and in fact seem quite impractical for someone of that profession. The female characters are all very strong and play important roles in the film, so I am unclear as to why the producers felt the need to objectify them at all; the plot of the movie is good enough in and of itself without the misogynistic elements.

Overall, “Baywatch” is an entertaining and humorous movie that lived up to its expectations as a comedy film. The plot is interesting, original, and replete with unique twists. If not for the sexism present throughout the movie, it would have received a full five stars.

Rating: 3.5/5

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