Director John Stockwell apparently specialises in making movies featuring women in very little clothing (see Crazy/Beautiful or Blue Crush), and here he certainly doesn’t break with tradition. Into The Blue is almost two hours of Jessica Alba’s bottom. Okay, so that’s not entirely true, but there is a lot of skin to go around.
It has been said before, but bears repeating: Into The Blue seems to be an unofficial remake of the 1977 film The Deep, based on the book by Peter Benchley. Buried treasure, people with guns, all in a watery paradise. Into The Blue is very derivative, but not entirely predictable. Its main flaw is the running time, which could have easily been confined to under 90 mins, but here swells out to 110.
That being said, the ensemble cast seems to have enough fun, as they swim around with apparently very little need for oxygen. Paul Walker (Timeline) revels in the B grade script, as always, and Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four) does a great job also. Scott Caan (Ocean’s Twelve) has never really had enough charisma to please me, and Ashley Scott (S.W.A.T.) does well alongside him in a fairly undemanding role.
Into The Blue is a decent enough time waster, and – if nothing else – goes to show that little has changed in Hollywood. It’s The Deep with a little more violence and a lot less clothing.
Review by Stuart Wilson, 24th October 2005
‘Wait, is that Josh Brolin?’ I wondered about halfway through Into The Blue. ‘Don’t tell me he’s appearing in another treasure hunt movie, he’s going to be typecast, what with The Goonies and all’. That my mental meanderings betray a certain boredom with onscreen events is a shame, as for the most part, Into The Blue does what it is supposed to do. It is meaningless entertainment, and never pretends not to be.
Jared and Sam (Walker and Alba) are the perfect couple. Unfettered by traditional ambition or greed, they live in a caravan in the Caribbean with their dog and their dreams of finding sunken treasure. Whilst diving one day, they find the mother load – a fabled ship carrying all manner of wealth, but alongside it is a plane full of drugs. Bummer! The ensuing temptations and eventual betrayal by their friends put all manner of stress on this lovely couple… will their relationship survive?
For the most part, this film seems to be about showing off beauty. Beautiful water and beaches, wonderful boats, and the beauty of four young, fit bodies. Personally, I have never found Scott Caan all that appealing, but his character does provide moments of amusement, and at least (in concert with Ashley Scott) diminishes the earnestness Walker brings to his lead role. Alba is also a little too condescending and moral given her chosen lifestyle, and wears hardly anything for most of the film. Sure, she looks kinda great, but isn’t that the point? Her role, and that of the other three leads, could just have easily been played by any of a hundred buff wannabees, and it is a shame that none of these four brings anything other than their appearance.
The settings are spectacular, although the continued lingering on hard bodies in soft water, often ‘artistically’ slowed down to bring real ‘meaning’ to the shot, allows this film to become much more bloated than it should have been – it is far too long for what is essentially a simple storyline, and much of this time could have been made up by more judicious editing of Alba and Scott’s cleavage and bottom shots.
Visually appealing, and suitably mind-numbing, Into The Blue is an adequate addition to the recent glut of meaningless action adventure films. (National Treasure and Sahara are two that come to mind.) Essentially forgettable, it will undoubtably win fans for its prolonged exposure of the best these four young things have to offer, which is an awful shame.
Review by Mark Lavercombe, 24th October 2005Hoopla Factor: