Priyanka Chopra’s Hollywood debut Baywatch is all set for a release in the USA. Before that, a special screening was held for the media, and the first reviews are out. The action comedy has not impressed the critics much, with many reviews slamming the film for its lackluster writing.
But, one thing to be noted is that majority of the critics have felt that Priyanka Chopra has been underused in the film. It doesn’t happen often that a big-budget movie gets a female villain. And seems like Baywatch fails to make the best of that rare opportunity. Clearly western media sees great potential in Priyanka as they have praised the actress for her performance.
Talking about Priyanka Independent wrote, “Despite being incredibly talented, Chopra is clinically underused, the script offering her nothing to work with. ”
They also added, “The anchor that keeps everything together is, as expected, The Rock, whose loveable persona brings genuine laughs to proceedings. His conflict with Efron during the opening half hour is Baywatch’s highlight, containing some light-hearted gags that will make most people chuckle.”
In their review, IGN said, “The only other highlight is Priyanka Chopra as nefarious entrepreneur Victoria Leeds, who outshines pretty much anyone she’s in a scene with. Chopra’s engaging and interesting and is the only character that speaks with any kind of distinctive cadence, with the rest of the cast falling into the exact same pattern of delivery of their hackneyed gags. None of them are given much of anything to do, either.”
The Wrap’s review reads, “And if the talented Chopra also has comic chops, they remain untapped here; she’s playing a character who describes herself as aspiring to be a 007 villain, but the actress finds no fun in Victoria’s wickedness.”
Collider described Priyanka Chopra as the real standout in Baywatch. “I’ve never seen her TV series Quantico, but she owns the film every second she’s on screen. Victoria isn’t a particularly memorable villain on the page, but Chopra is commanding, and when she gets called an aspiring Bond villain, it made me want her to be the villain in the next Bond movie. If there’s one good thing that can come from the wreckage of this movie, it’s for Chopra’s career in Hollywood films to take off.” they wrote.
Den of Geek wrote, “Contrary to this disappointment there’s Priyanka Chopra as the film’s villain (a part reportedly was written for a male actor) – it’s a welcome switch from the norm that, while it doesn’t save the film, adds a layer of interest. There’s a reason Chopra is a massive international star, and she join”
Forbes notes, “Chopra has fun as the baddie, but she stays in the background until the end of the movie and really only gets the one big scene at the end of the picture. The showdown is the best moment in the film, one which cleverly plays on gender-specific action movie tropes while showing its female villain no gender-based charity. I wish more movies had female super villains and to its credit, Baywatch doesn’t treat it as a big deal.”
The Guardian says that “the women are given thankless, almost interchangeable roles as love interests and swimsuit models.” and concludes “Even Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, the underused villain of the piece, looks like she was contractually obliged to show as much flesh as permissible.”
Variety calls out the movie’s plot for not using the elements boringly. “Chopra, the crossover Bollywood star, preens and schemes like a vamp from “Dynasty,” and the whole drugs-and-real-estate plot has a musty air of sub-“Miami Vice” intrigue — it’s closer to “Starsky and Hutch.” The trouble is that the movie plays it boringly straight.”
Indiewire wrote, “Victoria as a villain has about as much oomph as the barrel of fish she uses to smuggle her drugs. Nothing against Chopra; it’s as if the writers were so pleased with themselves for writing a female villain they forgot to give her a personality. ”
Well, one thing is for sure, the western media loves Priyanka Chopra just as much as her fans here. While there are many bad reviews about film’s writing, there has not been one criticising Priyanka and her performance. Now that is saying something!
Baywatch releases in India on June 2