With nearly half its running time spent beneath the Atlantic ocean’s sparkling surface, Into the Blue finds ample opportunities to ogle an underwater Jessica Alba’s undulating body and, specifically, the perfectly-sculpted apple bottom behind that refuses to stay fully covered by her teeny-weeny string bikini. This is not a bad thing. Nonetheless, such scrumptious sights don’t compensate for the general sogginess of John Stockwell’s submerged suspense flick, in which hot young things in the Bahamas get into trouble trying to salvage both a 150-year-old pirate ship and a downed airplane’s cargo of cocaine. Destitute wannabe treasure hunter Jared (Paul Walker) dreams of discovering long-buried swag like his wealthy former boss Bates (Josh Brolin)—an arrogant hotshot whose villainy is immediately signaled by an unkempt goatee—even though Jared’s sweetheart Sam (Alba), less interested in money than her man, is smitten by a legend about a buccaneer who sacrificed his loot for love. Alas, Matt Johnson’s script is so shabbily assembled that it doesn’t even saddle its hero with this greenbacks-versus-girlfriend dilemma, instead opting to cavalierly kill off peripheral players (the smug Scott Caan is, unfortunately, not one of the casualties) while never portending anything less than a have-it-both-ways happy outcome for its blond, buff, brainless leads. Stuck with a watery narrative, director Stockwell resorts to regular aquatic excursions featuring Walker and Alba gaily frolicking with schools of fish, stingrays, and sharks. And though these sequences resemble little more than beautifully glossy advertisements for Club Med, they at least offer a welcome respite from the film’s dry-dock silliness (including a gratuitous dance club scene that offers up even more writhing female forms) and nuggets of wisdom such as the vapid but sultry Sam’s theory that “shark attacks are just a case of mistaken identity.” Still, without the delicious Alba’s bootylicious presence, the shallow Into the Blue would sink like a stone.
The video presentation is lovely for the most part-color saturation is remarkable (those underwater sequences, which seem to drain the chroma from the sky above, are a thing of rare beauty), skin tones are seductive, and edge enhancement is scarcely intrusive-but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the occasional digital lines that appear on Jessica Alba and Ashley Scott's bikinis actually make it hard to look at the screen. Audio is arguably better: the score and effects are booming and the surround work is enveloping during many of the underwater sequences.
Given that there isn't much to say about this film besides how pretty the actors look underwater, it's amazing just how much John Stockwell has to talk about, like how he had to hire some production guy's brother to fill in an acting role and how Jessica Alba looks better in certain angles. Sound interesting? If so, then you'll love the 20-minute making-of featurette and 10 deleted scenes with optional commentary. Rounding things off are a bunch of screen tests (it goes unsaid that Tyson Beckford's an embarrassment) and a bunch of theatrical trailers.
Somewhere, some frat guy is turning this PG-13 underwater porn into a screensaver.