Hard bodies, blue water, and a passel of music video moments strung together into the running time of a motion picture is what INTO THE BLUE is all about. It may silly, but at least it’s not offensive. The bodies in the persons of Jessica Alba and Paul Walker are taut and toned to perfection. The underwater cinematography is nicely done with schools of many different kinds of interesting underwater tropical fauna flitting hither and yon. All in all, though, a visit to your local aquarium would make for a more interesting storyline, though the abs would probably not be as compelling.
We’re in the Bahamas, where dive bum and wannabe treasure hunter Jared (Walker) is pitching woo with his main squeeze Sam (Alba), who works at the local marine world explaining which sharks are the dangerous ones to generic packs of sunburned tourists. Two soon-to-be sunburned visitors arrive in the persons of Bryce (Scott Caan) and Amanda (Ashley Scott). He’s a frat boy who hasn’t left he puerile joie-de-vivre behind just because he’s become a high-priced attorney with a roster of iffy clients. She’s the hard body he picked up the night before on this visit to his old pal Jared. She’s also got a face that was made to sneer and an attitude that screams trouble along with her less than stellar IQ. But who needs smarts or even common sense when you can wear a white bikini with that much authority? Unbeknownst to our foursome, a plane carrying oodles of heroin has crashed into the sea very near where they are currently enjoying a day of snorkeling with the manta rays and taunting the turbot. We in the audience know all about it because it’s how the film begins, though how it all comes together is what strings the film and us along for the next hour or so.
Strong performances are not what the casting director was looking for and that is just what he or she failed to achieve with this cast. Walker spends the film tensing the muscles in his face in an attempt to look intense, but instead looks confused. Caan is all too believable as the manboy, an irritating persona rather than the comic relief, which makes his constant yelling of the word “cheese” all the more irksome. Josh Brolin is also along as a rival of Jared’s albeit one who is successful as the treasure hunting, or at least turning his boat into a tourist attraction for people interested in that sort of thing. His performance is as vague as his character’s purpose in the putative plot. He seems to be there strictly for the free trip to the tropics. Alba is better, but her character’s purpose is to wear a bikini and nothing else.
Logic also isn’t foremost on anyone’s mind, and yet even the most casual observer might wonder how these fine folks defy the laws of physiology as they spend way too much time underwater with no ill effects. As for one character making one of the bad guys bleed, which attracts the dangerous kind of shark, which nonetheless fails to deter that character from leaping into the water as the feeding frenzy is underway.
The point of INTO THE BLUE is not plausibility. It offers beautiful, if silly, people mouthing forgettable dialogue in an equally forgettable plot. There is nothing to detract nor to distract from the lovely scenery and the equally lovely and often undulating actors on screen. All it needs is a suspension of disbelief and a very large tub of popcorn to provide something worth listening to.