Saturday, February 12, 2011

'Into the Blue' gives viewers what they want

Into the Blue (2005)
Starring: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Ashley Scott, and Scott Caan
Director: John Stockwell
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

A pair of semi-pro treasure hunters (Alba and Walker) living the easy life in the Bahamas stumble upon the sunken wreck of a historic sailing ship. They also discover the wreck of a small airplane which contains a fortune in drugs, and this makes them targets of the drug smugglers who want to recover their wares.

I think I liked this movie better when I saw it as "The Deep". I recall being more impressed with the acting and the story than I was with this film, but then admittedly I was 10 or so years old and I haven't seen it since. So, maybe my memory is a bit hazy--and my memory of the Carmine Infantino-illustrated graphic novel adaptation is a bit stronger than that I have of the movie--but I remember finding the underwater action very exciting in both formats, as well as genuinely fearing for the heroes.

With "Into the Blue", I never really cared about any of the characters, and the only actor I found at all remarkable was Josh Brolin as the obnoxious, seasoned and well-funded rival to the pretty young main characters. The film also held no surprises as it unfolded, other than the memories it invoked of my youthful excitement over "The Deep".

That said, the film does move at fast enough a pace that you barely have time to realize that it is absolutely predictable at every turn. It also sports some gorgeous photography both on-land and under-seas, and several well-executed underwater action scenes... and that's ultimately what the film is about. Did anyone REALLY see this movie for anything but the eye-candy?

"Into the Blue" is entertaining enough, but not worth going out of your way for. If you want a beautiful film focusing on attractive skin-diving treasure-hunters, I think you might be better off checking out the "The Deep" starring Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bissett. (Athough I can imagine someone writing a variation on those words some 40 years from now: "'Raiders of the Deep' is pretty to look at, but it doesn't hold a candle to my memory of 'Into the Blue', a movie I saw when I was 10 years old.")

I will have to get my hands on a copy of "The Deep" to see if I'm being unfair to this movie or not....