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.
- Columbia Pictures
- 110 min
- John Stockwell
- Matt Johnson
- Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin, James Frain, Dwayne Adway, Tyson Beckford
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