INTO THE BLUE
Review by Michael Jacobson
Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin
Director: John Stockwell
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Features: See Review
Length: 110 Minutes
Release Date: December 26, 2005
the Blue is
a fairly smart and consistently entertaining yarn. It offers a good premise, several surprises, and an ability
to follow through with action and suspense that proves that giant, elaborate
effects-ridden sequences aren't really necessary to thrill and excite.
Well-executed ideas and characters can be more than sufficient.
Stockwell, who gave us the under-appreciated Blue Crush, returns to the
water again, but this time, he takes us to the drama underneath the surface.
And as with Blue Crush, he continues his appreciation of gorgeous
actresses in bikinis. Jessica Alba
is one of the most beautiful women alive, and Stockwell's camera photographs her
luscious form so lovingly, there were several moments in the movie where I felt
like I needed a cigarette. And I
don't even smoke.
begins as a fun tale of treasure-hunting in the Bahamas.
Jared (Walker) is a down-on-his luck hunter with a leaking boat and
barely a dollar to his name, but big dreams.
Sam (Alba) is his dutiful love interest, who stalwartly stands by him
despite his run of misfortune. Jared
once worked for the island's leading and most well-equipped treasure hunter
Bates (Brolin), who offers Jared a better chance at realizing his goals, but
whom Jared turns down for ethical reasons.
old friend Bryce (Caan), a successful lawyer, shows up with his current love
interest Amanda (Scott), for some fun in the sun and on the surf.
They dive for fun, but soon come upon two very different treasures.
One might be the remains of a rich and legendary ship.
The other is a wrecked airplane filled with cocaine.
setup for an intriguing dilemma, right? Jared
and Bryce can get the equipment they need to salvage the ship...if they unload
the coke. But if you think that's
the crux of the story, you've got some surprises coming your way.
Not all is as it seems above or below the water.
can't go too much more into the plot because the twists and turns are well
thought out and satisfying. Basically
what you have is an interesting action thriller set against the backdrop of the
ocean, so the story becomes enhanced by beautiful scenery and underwater
photography. It's not the most
substantial stuff in the world, but it delights the eyes without insulting the
cast is enthusiastic and does a good job. Many
critics complained the movie was one long shot of Jessica Alba in her swimsuits.
Let me just say for the record that you'll NEVER hear me utter that kind
of complaint. But most of the
credit belongs to Stockwell, who knows how to use his settings and the natural
dangers and difficulties they present in an effective way to keep his story
the Blue entertains
all the way...and sometimes, that's plenty.
anamorphic transfer serves the difficult visuals well.
The underwater scenes are frequently breathtaking, and render cleanly and
crisply. There may be a touch of
noticeable grain here and there, but nothing terribly distracting.
5.1 audio is a knockout, though. When
underwater, you can hear the sounds all around you, and it definitely enhances
the experience. Dynamic range is
strong thanks to the action sequences, and dialogue is easily understood
Stockwell offers an insightful commentaries as the extras begin.
There are also 10 deleted scenes with optional Stockwell commentary,
screen tests of the actors (I'm guessing Ms. Alba didn't require one), and a
decent making-of featurette, along with some other Sony previews.