Rated 1.0

Technically, Baywatch is a spin on the 1990s syndicated staple starring David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson as lifeguards with a curious interpretation of jurisdictional prudence, but the only influence that really matters here is the Jump Street franchise. The mission statement is the same—turn an outdated cheeseball TV drama into a soft-R, nostalgia-tickling bro-buddy action-comedy—and so is the formula. Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson were hired as mismatched stars, key cameos were secured, nudge-nudge self-references were sprinkled throughout. Add in the requisite roster of bathing beauties led by Alexandra Daddario, and you have an airtight package that seems to write itself. Instead, the screenplay is credited to Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, a team whose last produced script was the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th, a film that’s both funnier and less disturbing than Baywatch. There are low-budget, softcore, straight-to-late-night-cable, bikini-car-wash-company movies with sharper comedic chops. D.B.