Into the Blue (3/10)
by Tony Medley
Sometimes when I see an
inferior movie, I just get upset. Other times I feel sorry for all the
work and effort that was wasted. The latter describes my feeling leaving
“Into the Blue,” although that doesn’t mean I wasn’t upset.
It seemed to me that there were
only two actors in the entire film who could have qualified for a SAG
card, Josh Brolin, who plays the bad guy, Bates, and Paul Walker, who
plays the protagonist, Jared. The others are so bad it’s embarrassing.
However, as I’ve said before, when the script (Matt Johnson, from whom
more should have been expected after his debut, “Torque,” 2004) is banal,
it’s hard to tell the quality of the actors who are forced to mutter such
bromidic tripe as Jessica Alba (Sam), “I believe in you more than the
pursuit of any treasure.” Even though the line is trite, I can’t help but
think that Bette Davis would have been able to spit it out with more oomph
than the inept Ms. Alba. Poor Walker, forced to emote with the likes of
Alba and Scott Caan (Bryce), who is trying to portray a lawyer with flaws,
and Ashley Scott (Amanda), Bryce’s defective girl friend. Caan’s got the
flaws down, anyway. Also coming in for censure is whoever did the casting,
because this could have been entertaining.
Jared, who doesn’t have any
visible means of support, leads his three friends on an expedition during
which they find and old Spanish Galleon loaded with gold. They also find
an airplane full of cocaine, which causes lots of problems, not the least
of which is the bad guys who claim the cocaine is theirs. This is intended
to bring out the venality in Amanda, the stupidity in Bryce, the integrity
in Sam and the disgust in Jared. Unfortunately, given the deficiencies of
the people playing the roles, the emotions of the first three are so
contrived that only the disgust of Jared is real, and that’s probably not
acting because anyone watching this film would be disgusted at the
performances of Bryce, Alba, and Scott.
But all the blame can’t be laid
on the actors’ shoulders. Director John Stockwell and Director of
Photography Shane Hurlbut have to share the blame. Even though Scott and
Alba spend most of the film in skimpy bikinis, the film is bereft of
sensuality and titillation. There are some pretty scenes of the ocean and
sharks, and Brolin is very good. Other than that, this is a waste.
October 1, 2005