Into the BlueI know I severely risk my film geek cred by saying this, but I ENJOYED Into the Blue. I was ready to completely lambast this film when I sat down to watch it. I have never liked Paul Walker nor Jessica Alba and the trailers for the film made it look like just another run-of-the-mill action flick with beautiful but talentless actors. The reviews for the film were negative to mixed and, although this isn’t normally indicative of quality, it was a box office disappointment. Simply put, Into the Blue had no chance with me….or so I thought.

The film is about a luckless treasure-diving couple (Alba and Walker) who along with their lawyer friend (Scott Caan) and his coke-snorting slut girlfriend (Ashley Scott) discover a sunken airplane full of cocaine. At the same time they find the plane, the group also discovers the remains of a mythical pirate ship that is supposedly full of gold. Of course, where there is missing cocaine, there are unfriendly owners looking for it. The story is well thought out, involving, and well-paced. I kept expecting the story to take a wrong direction, but it surprisingly didn’t. By no means does this story not have its problems. There is not much originality in the film’s premise and a savvy movie watcher will be able to predict most if not all the plot points of the story. There is not much here that you have not seen before. However, I don’t think the writer (Matt Johnson) was intending to give you something unexpected and new. I think he simply wanted to tell a good, solid action story set in a beautiful location and he accomplishes this.

If there is one big weakness to Into the Blue, its the acting. Paul Walker and Jessica Alba are simply not good actors. I have seen them both in enough movies to figure out that studios don’t give a shit about whatever talents they may have. They are pretty and pretty people, according to the studios, help bring people to theaters. It may surprise you to know that in 2005 Jessica Alba won the Razzie Award (NOTE: These are awards given to bad movies and bad performances) for acting in Fantastic Four and this film. Fortunately, all is not lost in the acting department. The film is also graced by a funny if not slightly obnoxious performance by Scott Caan and by one of my favorite recent actors, Josh Brolin. Caan delivers a stepped up version of his role in the Ocean movies as Walker’s sleazy, slick-talking lawyer buddy. Brolin plays the heavy here. Even in a fun, escapist action film like this, Brolin brings his usual intensity to his role, which intensifies the conflict in the film.

As an aside, this movie looked gorgeous. The filmmakers wisely took full advantage of the setting and gave us lush visuals that, alone, is almost worth watching. The look is reminiscent of a Michael Bay movie, but if there is anything you’re going to steal from a Bay film, this would probably be the only signature worth taking.

Into the Blue is not a great film, but it is a fun film that squarely falls under the Guilty Pleasure category (and we ALL have guilty pleasure films). Its ironic that for all the money Michael Bay spends on his productions, his movies still generally suck. This movie is a Michael Bay-type of action pic with stunning shots, pretty people, and intense action and it was all done for a lot less money than a Bay movie. Of course, I went into the film with extremely low expectations and that may have played a big role in my enjoyment of the movie. Nevertheless, I still liked it and its a nice movie to chill out to with a couple of friends and alcohol.

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