Review: Into the Blue

Without Jessica Alba’s bootylicious presence, the shallow Into the Blue would sink like a stone.

Into the Blue
Photo: Columbia Pictures

With nearly half its running time spent beneath the Atlantic ocean’s sparkling surface, Into the Blue finds ample opportunities to ogle at Jessica Alba’s body, specifically her bottom as it struggles to stay fully covered by her teeny-weeny string bikini. Such sights don’t compensate for the general sogginess of John Stockwell’s 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 Alba’s bootylicious presence, the shallow Into the Blue would sink like a stone.

 Cast: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin, James Frain, Dwayne Adway, Tyson Beckford  Director: John Stockwell  Screenwriter: Matt Johnson  Distributor: Columbia Pictures  Running Time: 110 min  Rating: PG-13  Year: 2005  Buy: Video

Nick Schager

Nick Schager is the entertainment critic for The Daily Beast. His work has also appeared in Variety, Esquire, The Village Voice, and other publications.

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