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Into the Blue Review

By Shawn McKenzie 01/30/2006

Poor Jessica Alba.  I truly believe that she is a good actress…but she seems to be used for movies like Into the Blue where she is only there to parade around in bikinis.  I have no problem with seeing a scantily clad Alba swimming around in water, but when she is forced to act with Paul Walker, one of the worst actors in Hollywood today, in a bad remake of 1977’s The Deep, no amount of sun-tanned flesh can make this a good movie.

A plane flies over the Bahamas carrying 800 kilos of cocaine when it is struck by lightning during a hurricane and crashes into the sea.  A few days later, we meet Jared Cole (Walker), who is a part-time treasure hunter that dreams of finding that one big payoff of a shipwreck.  He has recently been fired for mouthing off to his boss, and he is afraid that Samantha “Sam” Nicholson (Alba), his girlfriend who works as a shark handler at a local sea park, will think less of him unless he finds that one big score.  He does think that the recent hurricane will churn up years of sand on the sea floor and expose treasure that’s been covered up for years…so he’s got that going for him.  Unfortunately, a fellow treasure hunter and Jared’s old boss, Derek Bates (Josh Brolin), along with his assistant, Quinn (Chris Taloa), has the same idea, and Derek has better scavenging equipment than Jared does.  Fortunately, good luck shines down upon Jared when his childhood friend and New York attorney Bryce Dunn (Scott Caan) shows up with Amanda Collins (Ashley Scott), a woman he met just 14 hours ago.  Bryce recently helped a rich client get off, so the client rewarded him with access to his yacht and expensive beach pad.  They all party at the pad, and the next day, they go on some dives looking for treasure.  During one of his dives, Jared loses his wristwatch.  When he dives down to retrieve it, he finds parts of what could be a major shipwreck.  He also finds the plane that crashed in the beginning of the movie.  He surfaces and tells the others, who all go down together to explore the plane.  They find the cocaine, but Sam wants nothing to do with it.  Jared eventually sides with Sam, but Bryce and Amanda think that selling some of the cocaine might finance new scavenging equipment to retrieve the shipwreck, which turns out to be The Zephyr, an infamous ancient ship that sank in 1891 rumored to contain millions of dollars of treasure in it.  Other treasure hunters are starting to get word of the ship, so Bryce and Amanda go behind Jared and Sam’s backs and make a shady deal with a local nightclub owner named Primo (Tyson Beckford) to use as their connection.  It backfires though, because Primo is in cahoots with drug dealer Reyes (James Frain), the owner of the plane and the cocaine.  Reyes gives Bryce, Amanda, and Jared only 12 hours to retrieve the rest of the cocaine, or he will hurt the people they love (i.e. Sam.)  Jared tries to convince Sam to help them without mentioning Reyes, but she refuses.  She turns to a cop friend named Roy (Dwayne Adway) for some help, but by that time, all four of them are in mortal danger from bad guys all around.

John Stockwell made this movie, and he appears to be one of those directors whose movies get worse as time goes on.  In 2001, he did the decent Romeo and Juliet-like flick Crazy/Beautiful, but his follow-up, 2002’s Blue Crush, was just an excuse to show off some of Kate Bosworth’s ample attributes.  At least Crush had a decent story and some impressive surfing cinematography.

It feels like Walker set the pace for the acting.  With Walker, who was presumably a bigger star than Alba was before she had success with Sin City and Fantastic Four, the other actors managed to suck just as much as he normally does.  While Alba does the best she can, Caan, being the comic relief for the movie, is just annoying, and Scott wastes the potential that she showed in the WB’s “Birds of Prey” (which I still say was a good show.)

I’m sure that Alba will bounce back from this disaster (after all…she has Sin City 2 and Fantastic Four 2 coming up), so Into the Blue will be just one little slip-up in her promising career.  To make sure that she doesn’t make the same mistake, she might want to see if Walker is in her next movie before she signs the contract.

Get the DVD, featuring audio commentary with director John Stockwell; 10 deleted scenes with optional director's commentary; a screen-tests featurette; and a "Diving Deeper Into the Blue" making-of featurette:

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