"Edge of Your Seat Thriller!" says "Wireless Magazine's" Earl Dittman, which tells you all you really need to know about the vapid pile of soft-headed mass that is Into the Blue, a meandering and painfully pointless collection of swimming sequences, confused glances, and female bikini wedgies that somehow made its way into 2,000 movie theaters a few months back ... for about 11 seconds.
Starring the astonishing one-two punch of earth-shattering blandness that is Paul Walker + Jessica Alba, Into the Blue is the very least a movie has to be in order to be considered an actual, y'know, movie. Yes, it's true that Into the Blue boasts some very lovely underwater cinematography, but if all it took to make a good movie was some fancy underwater photography, my backyard pool could be Pinewood Studios.
Too dreary, slow, and leering to even be considered "fun bad," Into the Blue is about four mega-photogenic ciphers who discover three things beneath the Bahamian coast: a downed plane full of cocaine, an ancient shipwreck laden with golden goodies, and a whole lot of warmed-up Magnum P.I.-style troublemakers. Hoping to get a hold of the treasure before anyone else, our moronic heroes (after about 45 minutes of doing nothing) decide to abscond with the found cocaine and sell it for the equipment needed to haul up the booty.
Alba's booty, incidentally, is lensed, photographed, and framed as if it were the last bottle of milk in a world full of starving babies. The first 20-some minutes of Into the Blue could be renamed Into the Crack, so prevalent is Ms. Alba's hypnotic hiney. But now I'm digressing about the keester of a women whose onscreen presence conjures a vision of broken fingernails scraping across Satan's very own personal blackboard, so let's just move on.
Reminsicient of nothing more than several wealthy persons' salaried vacation trip, Into the Blue is an absolutely merciless chore of a movie. The flick's two discernible assets (the underwater photography and a third act that finally displays some semblance of a pulse) are mired so deep in a parade of all things generic, you almost forget they're there. The two leads act as some sort of titan-clash; it's like watching a black hole do battle with a vacuum. Nothing happens and it all sucks.
If you were born in the Bahamas and you can't afford a trip home anytime soon, I could perhaps recommend Into the Blue as a travelogue sort of affair, but please trust me when I advise you to watch the thing on mute. So inert and banal and aggressively formulaic is Into the Blue that I suspect it originally began as a reverse-psychology screenwriting exercise. Between this flick and Torque, I'd say that screenwriter Matt Johnson is living a truly charmed life.
Video: The anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) transfer is, indeed, very slick and pretty and full of rippling blue waves. Visually, the thing's pretty darn impressive. It's just all the actors and words and plot dribblings that keep getting in the way.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English or 2.0 French, with optional subtitles in the same languages. Audio quality is just dandy, if a bit unevenly balanced between the generic musical score and the aimless babblings of dialogue.
Somehow I doubt that the intended audience for this well-lensed jiggle-tripe are the kind who'd sit still for a full-length audio commentary from director John Stockwell, but it's included here for those who want to study the fine art of self-delusion. There's also a 20-minute EPK love-fest called Diving Deeper Into the Blue, which is jam-packed with Albabot 212 and her brain-melting voice, a collection of ten deleted scenes with optional director's commentary, a trio of screen tests, and a bunch of previews for Open Season, The Da Vinci Code, The Pink Panther, Rent, Stealth, The Fog, The Legend of Zorro, and The Cave. (And Sony wonders why they had such an awful 2005.)
Whoever thought it was a good idea to pair Jessica Alba & Paul Walker (aka the Streep & Nicholson of Bizarro-World) for a 110-minute open-mouthed gape-a-thon should probably be giggled right out of Hollywood. Aside from the gimmick casting that sees two of the world's most lifeless actors sharing the same screen, there's very little in Into the Blue that's worthy of your two hours. The swimmy stuff, though pretty, gets old really fast; the "plot stuff" is third-tier CBS fodder; and the sexy bits are candy-coated PG-13 teasings that will thrill nobody but the absolute horniest 12-year-olds under the sun.