BAYWATCH (15, 116 mins) Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Ilfenesh Hadera, Alexandra Daddario, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach, Rob Huebel, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Director: Seth Gordon.

THE new Baywatch film is unquestionably the worst in the history of cinema. This is including such disasters as Sharknado, The Human Centipede and Donkey Punch. 

I don’t often go in for such strident hyperbole. But having sat through the nauseating catastrophe in its entirety I could come to no other conclusion (and I challenge anyone not to draw the same).

Seth Gordon’s remake of the classic TV series will live long in the memory, but for all the wrong reasons.

It will likely be studied by future generations of film students as the perfect example of how not to produce a piece of cinema.

This shallow, insultingly vacuous film, filled with pre-teen humour and comic book levels of plausibility, ought to be hauled before a judge in the High Court of Good Taste.

If this were so, the case for the prosecution would go something like this: First, not a single member of the cast was able to do anything that could reasonably be termed ‘acting’, though this shouldn’t be a surprise when one of the leads, Dwayne Johnson, is a former wrestler and the other, Zac Efron, is only famous for being a pretty face.

Perhaps most noticeably, the movie proves only one thing about the modern cinema – namely, that if you make enough crude references to certain parts of the anatomy you will provoke galesof laughter from so-called adults.

The plot, though I’m loath to use such a term, revolves around veteran lifeguard Mitch (Dwayne Johnson) and his crew at sunny Emerald Bay.  Former Olympic gold medallist and down-on-his-luck cocky brat Matt Brody (Zac Efron) joins the team of lifeguards, but only after passing a bizarre obstacle course designed only to show off Efron’s ripped, though slightly ridiculous, physique.

In true Scooby Doo fashion, the team of saintly lifesavers stumbles into a nefarious drug ring being run out of the swanky Huntley Club and a dastardly plot to hand the beach over to wicked developers.  A series of ludicrous events occurs, which sees the lifeguards hiding in a morgue and battling the evil queen, James Bond-style, on board a plush yacht.  The characters are soulless and utterly contrived, seemingly handpicked from a catalogue of previous incarnations, devoid of originality or ingenuity.

They try to be funny when the dialogue is flat and they attempt to be heroic when the action is dull.

The film features long periods of preachy, homilies about teamwork and unity and the gratuitous brutality in the closing scenes, in which one character meets a particularly grisly death, is entirely incongruent with the bubble gum feel exhibited throughout.

If you have seen the trailer then I give you my word that you have seen more than you need to see.

Fortunately I had attended the screening without having to pay a penny (the beauty of press tickets, you see). Had I parted with my hard-earned cash to sit through such wet drivel I would have been livid.  Quite simply, Baywatch drowns under the weight of its own buffoonery. Not even the superhuman lifeguards can save it.