Fox Home Entertainment presents
Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding (2003)
"FHM? For him? Oh, I like that magazine; it lets us find out what men are fantasizing about."- Taylor Walsh (Angelica Bridges)
Stars: David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Alexandra Paul, Gena Lee Nolin, Carmen Electra, Yasmine Bleeth, Jeremy Jackson, Nicole Eggert, John Allen Nelson, Billy Warlock, Michael Bergin
Other Stars: Brande Roderick, Stacy Kamano, Angelica Bridges, Jason Momoa, Cary-Hiroyuki, Sidney Liufau, Scott Workman, Michael Cowell, Sterling Rice
Director: Douglas Schwartz
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for violence, language, sexual situations, extreme testosterone/estrogen
Run Time: 01h:39m:53s
Release Date: 2003-06-03
DVD ReviewAlthough never a big time fan of the television series, I certainly didn't surf past it when coming across repeats on cable. What red-blooded American male could resist slow motion visuals of women (and buff hunks for the ladies) frolicking across sandy beaches to the beat of generic air guitar rock? No demanding plots to figure out, with postcard visuals, the acting genius of David Hasselhoff (just kidding on the latter). Say what you will, but the reason Baywatch turned out to be the syndicated cultural phenomenon of the decade past was simple: it never aspired to be anything more than it was; pure eye candy escapism.
So how did this sand and surf reunion hootenanny go wrong? Well, for starters Hasselhof's character, Mitch, was killed off in the 10th season of the original series. Like Dallas bringing Bobby Ewing back from the dead after an infamously bad season that was (thankfully) but a dream, the writers of Hawaiian Wedding could have had a field day in establishing just how the king of the lifeguards survived an underwater explosion. Instead, it isn't even mentioned as the movie begins with Mitch awakening from a bad dream where he relives the death of former flame Stephanie (Alexandra Paul). Sadness doesn't linger for long as he's consoled by his affectionate and current lady love, Allison (Alexandra Paul!). Moved by her understanding and caring ways, Mitch promptly decides its time to propose. Slipping his mother's wedding ring on her finger (all together everybody: Awwwwwwww), Stephanie, I mean, Allison accepts.
After sharing the good news with Baywatch alumnus past and present, the couple makes plans to wed in Hawaii where Mitch's old buddy C.J. (Pamela Anderson) runs a nightclub. However, two hurdles threaten the happy nuptials: Buchannan's ex-fiancée Neely (Gena Lee Nolin), who's still carrying a torch, and Mason Sato (Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa), a drug lord Mitch helped put away several years back.
Upon arriving on the island of Oahu with Allison, grown-up son Hobie (Jeremy Jackson), close friend J.D. Cord (Michael Bergin), and longtime lifeguard Summer (Nicole Eggert), it's like old-home week as Buchannan comes into contact with many of his former lifeguards including Lani (Carmen Electra), Eddie (Billy Warlock) and Cort (John Allen Nelson) to name but a few. Leave it up to trouble-making Neely to destroy the happy mood by getting into a catfight with Allison (Joan Collins and Linda Evans, they're not). In the midst of the struggle, Buchannan's former squeeze notices unusual scars behind her neck arousing curiosity. Neely then gives her necklace that Allison ripped off in the struggle to local lifeguards who in turn deliver it to local authorities to test for fingerprints.
Meanwhile, possible love matches are developing between Hobie/Summer, Eddie/Stephanie's sister Caroline (Yasmine Bleeth) and Cort/Lani, all of whom join fellow merrymakers and the future newlyweds on a boat ride to Haiku Island, site of the wedding. Who should be on board but the evil Sato, along with his henchmen who promptly throw Eddie and Caroline overboard. Once on land, while bride and groom are out of sight, Hobie and Summer are tied to a net near the shoreline as the tide begins to roll in. Do new lovebirds Cort and Lani who jumped off in mid-stream for a romantic swim escape the torture spree? Of course not! Sato's thugs secure their ankles to a cable, which happens to be near a very hot volcano ridge (sounds like something out of a Batman episode, doesn't it? Where's Cesar Romero when you need him!)
What shocking plot twist awaits our groom? Will Eddie and Caroline escape the rising waters while handcuffed to an observation buoy? Can Lani use her booty shake to free herself and Cord from a fiery fate? As the tide grows ominous, will it wash away Hobie and Summer's spin-off hopes?! Will Mitch sing?! (For the love of God, nooooooo!)
Oh, if only Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding were as wacky as the paragraph previous; a Naked Gun approach would have been most welcome. In our post-"beach party a no-no report," there are way too many characters fighting for storylines. Save for the Sato situation, none had a chance to breathe (so much for the cute love story between Jackson and Eggert, which had real possibilities). Then one of the hallmarks of the original show was that if the plot starts dragging, cue the generic music video montage! Amazingly, only one such guilty pleasure moment of this sort surfaces during the proceedings; a photo shoot involving Leigh (Brande Roderick) and a gaggle of swimsuit models that sets up one of the lamest excuses for the obligatory Baywatch rescue of the week ever (and how such a gratuitous ooh-la-la sequence could relegate cover girl extraordinaire Roderick to shutterbug duty is beyond comprehension).
Finally, it doesn't help when your biggest draw looks as though she would rather be getting salon treatment in Cancun. When Pamela Anderson first surfaces, she's supposed to be meditating, but to me it looked more like "it'll all be over soon, ommmmmmm, it'll all be over soon, ommmmm....has Tommy Lee's check for this month arrived, ommmmm"). It says volumes when her best moment comes with no dialogue. Eyes closed, sunning herself in a hot pink bikini, mouth mercifully shut. That's it, Pammy...in the words of No Doubt, Don't Speak.
Okay, so I'm being a little hard on Miss Pamela; in fairness, she and the rest of her scantily-clad cohorts had to work with a script that seems to have been conceived, written and final draft stamped during a lunch break. Lacking the charm, fun and excitement of its original incarnation, longtime fans will be (rightly) disappointed and those interested strictly on the gawk level will be bored to tears at the midway point.
Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D
|Aspect Ratio||1:78:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Creative misgivings aside, picture quality is gorgeous; like the pretty girls, Hawaii just can't take a bad picture. Since most of the film takes place in daylight hours, the visual delights are replicated beautifully (including some nifty underwater photography) in this natural-looking transfer. A couple of underlit interior sequences where black levels appear to be off are the only nitpicks.
Image Transfer Grade: A-
Audio Transfer Review: With music and natural sound playing a vital role in the TV series, the inclusion of a 5.1 track sounded intriguing beforehand. Disappointingly, it only sounds like enhanced Dolby Surround (a 2.0 track is also included) with the rears not getting much to do except provide extensions of a very front heavy mix. However, thatís not to say whatís coming out of the fronts is weak; not by a long shot. Dialogue is crisp and firmly isolated in the center, low and effective bass gives the sub channel an enormous workout and the stereo spread is appealingly wide. Not as good as it could have been, but an above-average job for a quickie TV project.
Audio Transfer Grade: B+
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Extras Review: Out of 15 original cast members participating in Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding, could not at least two or three been gathered for a commentary track of some sort? Then again, they probably want to forget the experience just as quick as I do. Other than 10 extra minutes of "never-before-seen" footage cut back into the movie (oh, joy), that's about it.
Extras Grade: D+
Final CommentsOne of the weakest and most disappointing cast reunion movies to surface in a long while, Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding is strictly for completists. Save your pennies for when the inevitable season box sets come ashore.
Jeff Rosado 2003-06-03