Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Beach Blanket Bingo Review

It’s time to look at my first ever Beach film. Naturally you can probably already imagine how this played out. I’m not really a big fan of the token beach episode in most TV shows so a whole film centered around the place can get a little tricky. It’s not a terrible movie, but I wouldn’t call it a particularly good one either. It falls into all of the usual beach traps and so it’s a film that you will want to avoid.

The film starts off with everyone hanging out on the beach and basically going past the friend zone the whole time. The film then lets us know what the title actually means as essentially whenever you go to the Beach you’re playing a game of Bingo and when you end up with someone new you have won the Bingo. With the insane amount of rebounding going on here I am certainly not surprised to see something like this going on. Still, it’s no wonder why Dee Dee and Frankie are always acting super jealous. If they let their guard down for even a few minutes their partner might leave with someone else. These beach adventures continue until a celebrity named Sugar shows up for a publicity stunt. Dee Dee realizes that she is losing Frankie to the new girl and a gang of thugs are also around to keep things tense. Will the teenagers be able to use their wicked dance moves to keep everyone in line or is it all over for them?

So, it’s pretty self explanatory why the beach setting is no good. The film gives us constant closeups of the characters in their attire with camera angles that would even make SAO season 2 back up. The film never actually tries to take the high road. The characters are all just getting together throughout the film and with no regard for how public displays of affection can be annoying to the others around them. Granted, the teenagers here are so busy making catcalls and whistling that they don’t really care all that much. If anything they seem glad to watch.

Getting past the beach shenanigans, the cast of characters isn’t particularly impressive. First up is Frankie who can’t help but take a double look at every girl who passes him. At times it seems like he is messing with Dee Dee, but it’s hard to say by the end. At least he took a firm stance against one of the characters who was after him, but that’s about it. He didn’t really do anything to dismiss Sugar and only got lucky because she went for a quick rebound with Bonehead. There’s nothing to particularly like about Frankie. At most, it’s nice that he’s sarcastic to everyone and always has a witty comeback at the ready. He even messed with Steve so much that Steve made a lot of threats, but never ended up actually doing anything. Personally I think he was probably just too nervous at that point and realized that not making a move was his safest bet.

Dee Dee isn’t great either since she is a little too forgiving with Frankie. He actually tells her that she should stay in the kitchen instead of sky diving with him. She manages to prove him wrong and performs the stunt, but he’s never all that supportive. I guess besides sticking with Frankie she is a reasonable character. She definitely seems a lot more loyal than him.

Sugar is one of the main characters in the spotlight here as she gets a few solo songs. This is a musical after all so we can’t forget that. However she does appear to be very naive. The thugs break into her house and she doesn’t care even when they tell her that she is being kidnapped. She just plays pool with them anyway. Then she is rescued by Steve, but gives Bonehead the credit and they quickly become a couple. I guess she just forgot how Bonehead (That name is certainly interesting) just ditched her on the beach during the night to go chase a mermaid and how he ignored her throughout the entire party. Yeah, Sugar definitely doesn’t seem like the smartest character in the film.

Then we have Eric who is essentially a character from the Abbott and Costello series. He can’t read and can barely speak at times. He spends the entire film getting beaten up and knocked around in total slap stick style. His own subordinates tend to betray him. He’s not particularly competent at anything and even as a thug he is half hearted and won’t actually do anything evil. Eric’s subplot isn’t bad and it can be fairly fun. IT may drag on a bit or feel rather unimaginative, but at least it wasn’t bad so I can get behind that.

Then we have Slim who is the true threat in this film. He has actually murdered people before and attempts to take Sugar out of the picture. He is able to hold the entire gang at bay all by himself so that is pretty impressive. Naturally the only person who could really handle him at the end was Frankie with the teen’s impressive hand to hand skills. Finally we also have the PR agent, Bullets. His whiny voice can be pretty entertaining as he delivers one liner after one liner. He definitely doesn’t care for the teens and has a few nice verbal battles with Frankie. He rarely ends up coming out on top, but this character seems to be on point. He’s the best character in the film I’d say and keeps everyone honest. I’m sure that he always gets the scoop on his story even if he has to alter the facts a bit. He has no scruples, but knows how to get a headline.

I will give the film credit for having a lot of action on screen throughout the whole film. There are just a lot of plots to keep track of here although some of them don’t really have much of a conclusion. Steve swears revenge against Frankie after all, but that never happens. One plot feels rather unnecessary and that is the mermaid who shows up. She basically appears so that Bonehead can finally have his special someone, but then admits that she was just messing with him and they can’t actually be together. So she dashes off which frames Bonehead for murder temporarily. If she was never going to let them be together, why even give Bonehead hope for a night? Then of course you have the gangs and the talent scout, and the press agent running around along with the whole sky diving plot where the pilot keeps on trying to get Frankie.

The pacing of the film is pretty solid. It’s a shame about the beach scenes dragging down the movie as otherwise I can appreciate the fact that there is never a dull moment here. There are quite a few characters and plots that I haven’t even mentioned yet. The songs aren’t bad either although I wouldn’t call them particularly impressive. They’re around and that’s about all that you really even need to say about them. I’d give the writing a thumbs up as well. The dialogue is usually rather clever and everyone has a quip at the ready to sling at the person they are talking too.

Still, the romance in this film is quite bad. Even if the beach wasn’t around I doubt the film would have had too much of a future. Characters just seem to switch partners constantly and without a second thought. Even at the dance Frankie let Steve cut in on him and Dee Dee so then he just danced with another girl. He didn’t really care and that basically describes all of the characters. Then of course we have the mermaid who is 300 years old, but doesn’t understand human customs which is another terrible trope to throw in. Yeah, this film just hit a lot of the wrong notes.

Overall, The only reason to watch this film is to check out the Bingo game, but then you’ll be disappointed since the movie isn’t talking about actual bingo. I don’t think I’ve seen a film about competitive Bingo yet, but I like to think that one exists. If you actually like Beach parties and all that this entails then this is the film for you. If you are not a big fan of the Beach and want an actual story with likable characters then you should skip this one. It’s reasonably entertaining, but still has too many pitfalls for my liking. I don’t see this genre in general churning out too many winners to be honest.

Overall 3/10


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