Into the Blue

Cast:
Paul Walker as Jared
Jessica Alba as Sam
Scott Caan as Bryce
Ashley Scott as Amanda
Josh Brolin as Bates
James Frain as Reyes
Dwayne Adway as Roy
Tyson Beckford as Primo
Gill Montie as Big Dave
Ramon Saunders as Tech-9
Chris Taloa as Quinn

Review:
Jared (Paul Walker) and Sam (Jessica Alba) are a pair of salvagers living a poor but mostly happy existence on the shores of the Bahamas waiting for that day when they’ll finally find the sunken treasure ship that will solve all their problems. When Jared’s old friend Bryce (Scott Caan) arrives on the island to relax it looks like their dreams will come true when they find the wreckage of the pirate ship Zephyr. Unfortunately, the Zephyr is resting next to the a crashed drug plane carrying 800 kilos of cocaine… cocaine its owner (James Frain) wants back.

“Into the Blue” is a fairly languid thrill from director John Stockwell (“Blue Crush”). The plot meanders a bit, particularly in the middle, and the introduction of too many villains and conflicts muddy the waters too much. It never really builds in intensity the way a thriller should, which is odd considering how much is going on. It works best as a purely visual experience with breathtaking underwater photography of the Bahamas and lots of eye candy courtesy of its leads.

Which appears to be the main reason they were chosen. Walker looks every inch the beach bum/action star and his physical acting is often quite subtle. Unfortunately, as soon as he opens his mouth, the spell is broken, often sounding more like a surly college student than anything else. Alba is a little better, but only a little. It’s fortunate that Caan gets most of the dialogue and he chews on it with his normal gusto – but the story is Jared’s, and the emotional disconnect between who is doing things and who is talking about things adds to the film’s general sense of ennui.

Josh Brolin as Jared’s old friend/adversary Bates is the best thing – acting wise – in the film. In a role where others may have chosen to over do it, Brolin is wonderfully natural, just existing in his part rather than playing it. “Into the Blue” needs more of him than it has. It’s another unfortunate side effect of the film’s lack of narrative direction.

“Into the Blue” is fun to watch because it’s, well, fun to watch – particularly when its stars dive into the blue in their various skimpy bathing suits (which they do often), but it’s not much of thriller.

“Into the Blue” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence, drug material, some sexual content and language.

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