Hippo Manchester
October 13, 2005


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Into the Blue (PG-13)

Pretty, pretty shots of sand and sea seek to distract us from a smaller-than-a-thong-bikini plot and weaker-than-a-resort-margarita dialogue in Into the Blue, a movie that will be viewed solely for its frequent shots of a nearly nude Jessica Alba.

As the male leads are Paul Walker and Scott Caan, there is no equivalent joy to the audience members hoping for a look at sun-kissed hot guys. Alba’s rear seems to get as much screen time as any other person or thing in the movie, with the exception being, perhaps, the blue blue sea into which our characters go. Sadly, they do not drown and allow us uninterrupted views of the beach that, three months from now, we will all wish we were on. Indeed a good mass drowning at minute six would have been immensely helpful to this movie, which gives us nothing — no characters, no dialogue, no plot — of interest except its lovely setting.

Jared (Walker) and Sam (Alba) have a meager existence in this tropical paradise but Jared has big stupid dreams of finding sunken treasure. His dreams seem a little less fantasy-based when his friend Bryce (Caan) shows up and the four swimsuit-clad action figures (Bryce brings along an obnoxious blond spider-monkey of a girlfriend played by the praying-mantis-like Ashley Scott) take to the open sea to dive and dig. Naturally Jared finds something, the SS Contrivance, I believe, but is prevented from an open and honest staking of a claim by a nearby sunken plane, filled with treasure of the white, powdery, illegal variety. Jared, a being of pure goodness and morality, doesn’t want anything to do with the bad bad drugs but Bryce, who has the gold jewelry and pretend wealth that signifies his villainy, is all about tacking the cocaine on the finders keepers list.

Of course, straight-up moral dilemmas are for nerds, so the movie throws in some guys with guns to help clarify ideas of right and wrong. There’s some shooting, some yelling, some more Jessica Alba in a swimsuit (pouting, occasionally, to convey unhappy feelings) and then the movie’s over and you can return to your life.

Into the Blue is a movie made of nothing but an idea of what would make a market-friendly movie. But even a well-crafted coloring book is just a wasted creation if nobody ever thinks to color it in.