Publicity Stills of "Into The Blue"
(Courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

Genre: Action/Thriller
Director: John Stockwell
Starring: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin, James Frain
RunTime: 1 hr 50 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG

Opening Day : 6 October 2005

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Synopsis :

A high-stakes thriller set in the deep, shark infested waters of the Bahamas. When a group of young divers discover the wreckage of a cargo plane at the bottom of the sea, they believe their dream of buried treasure has come true. What they don’t realize is that millions of illegal goods are in that sunken plane and a group of dangerous criminals are already desperately searching for it. As tensions mount and the friends begin to fight about what to do with their find, others get closer to discovering their secret – and the treasure hunters quickly become the hunted.

Movie Review:

The idyllic Bahamas is the ideal setting for a deep sea diving adventure, with beautiful blue waters, and what more when the main leads Paul Walker and Jessica Alba flaunt their bronzed bodies in trunks and bikinis most of the time?

This film tells the story of Jared and Sam (Walker and Alba), the former who's a down and out diver looking for his first break in treasure prospecting in the sea, while Sam is his girl who supports his dream, no matter how hopeless it looked. With a broken boat, and little money, Jared's world is Sam.

The first act kicks into gear when they meet up with friends Bryce and Amanda (Scott Caan and Ashley Scott), bringing the act into a dreamy like underwater adventure, with the beautiful cinematography of the sea world and its inhabitants. Needless to say, lots of muscled and toned bodies up close to satisfy the Walker and Alba fans. The couples romance, and it all
seemed like a possible fairytale-like Blue Lagoon sequel.

Things start to get serious in the second act, where the group chanced upon two wrecks. The first is a suspected ship containing treasures (don't they all?) and the second is a sunken airplane filled with cocaine (sealed in watertight wrappers of course). The latter we see in the beginning of the film going down in a short but nicely done CGI sequence, while the former is a hypothesis based on little artifacts recovered. Which brings the question of hard work versus quick opportunity. Both avenues provide the possible path to riches, but one is considerably more risky with running afoul with the law. The battle lines are drawn and the couples take opposite sides.

Needless to say, one group takes the plunge into trying to make a quick buck, only to end up with the wrong company, and jeopardizing the other group. The third act brings on the action, both on ships and in the sea, as Jared and Bryce try to undo the wrongs they committed, and at the same time trying to outwit and turn tables on their hunters. There is a slight twist involving the hoodlums, which tried to make it a little different from the usual storyline you might
come to expect. One gripe that the audience might have though, is the over-reliance on Jaws. Don't expect too much from the action set pieces though, somehow there isn't much excitement or crescendos, as the pace is quite even and plain.

Given two pairs of eye-candy couples on screen, it'll naturally prompt you to look further into their relationships - their depth and what it means to stick and commit to your partner were deliberately contrasted in this movie. Compare the strong relationship between Jared and Sam, with the Bryce and Amanda one. You might say, "oh it's only a movie", but think about it, no doubt which kind you'd prefer to experience.

Paul Walker, unfortunately, is dangerously being typecasted to the action-beefcake genre, with his Fast and Furious series, and now, this movie as a "diver bum". Definitely some female fan favourite, I could hear some gasps when he's on screen. Alba, on the other hand, might have stolen the show with her curves. Even though she had less to do, you'd be quite sure all eyes from the male crowd were definitely on her. It's been a busy year for Alba, with this movie
bringing us back to her Flipper days.

Like what Bryce tells Jared, you can't expect to bum around until you're old, then you look back and brag about what could have been. Just like this movie, don't expect to see a classic and complain that it isn't, but watch it for what it's worth - some decent action, with a plain storyline beefed up by hot bods.

Movie Rating:

(Deep sea diving has never looked so good - Paul Walker and Jessica Alba turn on the heat underwater!)

Review by Stefan Shih

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