I like to review movies based on what they are trying to be, because let’s face it, not every movie is trying to be The English Patient. (Thank the lord in heaven, because it can’t be safe for me to nap in movie theaters on a regular basis.) So when you see a movie poster with two hot young actors showing off their hot young bodies, you have to assume that this movie is probably trying to be an hour and a half of light and fun entertainment. (As well as an ad for the benefit of stomach crunches.) And in that regard ‘Into the Blue’ is a smashing success.
Director John Stockwell, a veteran of throwing attractive people in the water (Blue Crush), assembles a good-looking crew of mediocre actors and hands them a mediocre script and somehow comes out with a pretty fun movie. Walker and Alba play young lovers in the Bahamas who are living on love, and very little else. Walker’s character, Jared, longs to be a treasure hunter, yet lacks the money and boat of his former, very successful boss, played by Josh Brolin. Instead of selling his soul and working for Brolin, Jared decides he’s ready to treasure hunt on his own. Jared’s dreams are helped along a bit by the arrival of his old buddy Bryce (Scott Caan) and Bryce’s latest fling Amanda (Ashley Scott). Bryce (despite any evidence of intelligence, morality or even actual working) is a successful lawyer and is in the Bahamas to take advantage of his clients’ very large house. And a boat too. Of course.
The two couples venture out onto the open water, and begin to explore the ocean floor for possible treasures or maybe that big ship from The Goonies. Needless to say they find many an interesting thing underwater and the movie takes off as a result. I’m not a big fan of giving away movie details, especially in movies like this, where there are so very few to really give away. But I will say that I nearly passed out watching Paul Walker hold his breath for the better part of an hour in some of these scenes. I don’t know about you, but every time I swim down the floor of the ocean, I’m ALWAYS thinking, “Why bother with scuba gear, that will just weigh me down.” Look, we get that you’re all sexy and frowny but that does not give you super-human lung capacity.
Despite the fact that Paul should be dead, the underwater scenes are pretty cool any fan of the ocean will appreciate the cinematography of Peter Zuccarini’s underwater cameras. I don’t necessarily think that the extended footage of the actors frolicking with nature’s beauty has anything to do with the movie, but I still enjoyed the random Discovery Channel-like footage thrown into my action movie. It was very Zen. Zen involves people in bikinis, right? Well if it doesn’t, it really should.
Also, to keep up the Zen theme, I highly recommend sneaking a large bottle of alcohol into this film and taking a shot every time Scott Caan calls Paul Walker “Jared”. And then e-mail me and I’ll tell you how the movie ends, cause you’ll be passed out well before the final act. Why is it that people in movies are always calling each other by name? Like CONSTANTLY. I’m pretty sure that unless a friend is about to get hit by a car or possibly looking lost while across a crowded room I could probably go entire years without uttering my friends’ names. (Of course, I’m so bad with names that it’s a good probability that I could go years without even knowing my friends’ names.) And yet, in movies and TV, the characters can fit in three name references in the course of one tiny monologue. What is that all about? Are they just showing off because they can actually remember their friends’ names?
Anyways, ‘Into the Blue’ is a fun film that combines action, pirates, good-looking people, and underwater sea creatures. Sure, it’s not going to win any awards or be praised for its influence on American Film. But it does prove that it is possible to convince an actress to go without pants for an entire movie shoot. And if that ain’t a positive influence on cinema, I just don’t know what is.