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  Into the Blue Cruising For A Caribbean Bruising
Year: 2005
Director: John Stockwell
Stars: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin, James Frain, Tyson Beckford, Dwayne Adway, Javon Frazer, Chris Taloa, Peter R.V. Bowleg Jr, Clifford Mackintosh, Adam Collins, Gill Montie, Dan Ballard, Samantha Lamb
Genre: Action, Thriller, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: That's the final straw for Jared (Paul Walker), he's had enough of his job conducting undersea tours in the Caribbean and after one insult too far from his obnoxious boss he pushes him into the water. As expected, he is sacked there and then and returns home to the place by the docks he shares with his girlfriend Sam (Jessica Alba) then sets about fixing up that old tub of a boat he has been planning to refurbish for years. When Sam returns from her job, she works out what has happened but it doesn't matter, she's sure they will get by somehow, as after all there is plenty of booty in that ocean...

Some of that booty belonging to the cast of Into the Blue yet another of John Stockwell's paeans to the body beautiful, preferably stripped to the waist if you're a man or in a skimpy bikini if you're a woman. This landed him a reputation as one of the shallowest moviemakers around, but his films were not one step up from a camcorder pool party, he did have an enviable skill in creating imagery which looked slick and attractive, a talent which earned his works a loyal following. Well, up to a point, but there are fans of this movie in particular who may have watched to see either Walker or Alba looking their best and found they were fairly engrossed in a light, neat example of stylish storytelling.

Nobody was going to claim this was any kind of masterpiece, yet as you found yourself captivated by the azure seas, cyan skies and bronzed bodies the plot slowly slotted together into a simple enough morality tale. This is established when Jared's old friend Bryce (Scott Caan) shows up in the Bahamas to spend a little quality time with him, a new girlfriend in the shape of Amanda (Ashley Scott) in tow. What they want to do is get into the water, and so it is they are scuba diving off the coast when Jared drops his watch, goes after it, then finds treasure, a valuable dagger from a shipwreck many decades before. Thinking correctly that there must be more, he allows himself to dream big, and the other three are delighted to hear they will be getting a cut of the profits themselves.

But wait a second - what was that opening all about where we saw a plane crash into the ocean? Ah, here's where the old moral dilemma enters into it, as not far from the hard to get at treasure is a considerably less hard to get at plane wreck which has thousands of dollars of cocaine stashed inside as cargo. Jared and Sam are upright citizens and refuse to turn drug dealers but their companions have less scruples and their minds keep wandering to the easy pickings available on the sea bed. You can see where this is going, as nobody leaves that amount of narcotics lying about without wanting it back, and soon Bryce and Amanda have landed the four of them in hot water as gangsters appear and demand not only does Bryce hand over the coke he has salvaged, but Jared goes down to get the rest.

Naturally this isn't half as morally shaded as the movie would want you to believe as you can tell getting involved with the drugs is a bad idea immediately, and just desserts are on the menu for those who believe they can get away with such flagrant lawbreaking. In the main Into the Blue is one attractively shot arrangement after another, with you in little doubt you were supposed to be admiring the beefcake of Walker and the cheesecake of Alba (no, they don't set out as celebrity chefs), but there were worse ways to spend a couple of hours, and a bonus for thrillseekers was that Stockwell and screenwriter Matt Johnson introduced an intriguing horror inflection to their glossy thriller. There was a massacre here, and sharks loomed large when they lash out, dooming one character and playing a major part of the bloody climax. Add in Josh Brolin in the requisite "Oh, that's why he's here!" role and you would probably have a pretty good time with what had few ambitions other than a handful of thrills and brightly coloured eye candy. Music by Paul Haslinger.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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