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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding
Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding
Fox // Unrated // June 3, 2003
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Gil Jawetz | posted August 14, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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THE STRAIGHT DOPE:
I'm sure that long-time fans of Baywatch will have the slightest idea of what the heck anyone is talking about in Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding, a reunion movie that finds the incredible talents of Carmen Electra, Pam Anderson, Nicole Eggert, Brande Roderick, Gena Lee Nolin, Yasmine Bleeth and the immortal David Hasselhoff all under one palm tree. While it's hard to deny power like that this viewer has always felt that the Baywatch enterprise is a weird compromise: Just enough skin to get pocket jockeys to watch but not enough to get the syndication buyers nervous. Hasselhoff seems to think he's in Shakespeare here, emoting and scowling through the plot's twists and turns. He's fantastic as he is, like a cross-breed of William Shatner and a Kenny Rogers roaster. As for the rest of the cast, they are interchangeable in their red bathing suits. I couldn't tell one blonde bimbo from the other. Once they start running in slo-mo it's all Jello molds to me.

Actually, there's surprisingly little lifeguarding in the movie, consisting mostly of a near-disaster early on when Roderick, doing double-duty as a photographer for FHM (just one of the plot elements that went over my head) hesitantly allows some bodacious models to pose in the rough surf. The entire team has to chip in to save the drowning beauties. It's funny how the show seems to think that the worst tragedy imaginable is the death of a few models. Que horible!

The greater plot involves Mitch (Hasselhoff), a semi-retired semi-full-time-employed lifeguard, and his impending nuptials to Allison (Alexandra Paul), who I guess looks just like Stephanie, a dead character from the original series who was also played by Paul. Suspicion abounds as the lifeguards eye Allison cautiously. Then an evil Chinese guy tries to foul things up in a kidnaping plot and, oh hell. Lots of other nonsense happens.

The joke here is that Baywatch is so melodramatic and overwrought that any guys who watch it looking for titillation end up exposing themselves to soap opera far cornier than you'll find on daytime television. Great locations, tiny bikinis and one overly hairy man-ape beloved by German pop fans at the center of it all: Love it or hate it, it's Baywatch, baby, and it's bouncing to a DVD player near you.

VIDEO:
The widescreen anamorphic video is colorful and fine. All the oceanic adventures are crisp and clean.

AUDIO:
The program is available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0. It sounds fine either way. The music is chintzy synth-pop and doesn't really strive for speaker-pumping excitement but boy do it sure get loud. English and Spanish subtitles are available.

EXTRAS:
Only a trailer for Howard Stern's Baywatch spoof Son of a Beach and a featurette on The Shield. Say what?

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding is ridiculously childish and overly complicated at the same time, but with a title as direct as that you basically know what you're in for. If you've been craving the return of several early cast members and want to see this longer version (it's not clear what was added from the broadcast version) then you might as well pick this up. If you're like me, however, and are unfamiliar with the Baywatch storyline, be prepared for some confusion.

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