21 September 2010 | Lechuguilla
Great Visuals, Weak Script
The film's first half isn't bad, except for the prologue, which isn't needed. A youthful, photogenic guy with big dreams, accompanied by his photogenic girlfriend, uses a skimpy boat to look for sunken treasure beneath the clear, blue waters off the Bahamas.
The visuals are dazzling, with bright, vivid colors, and some terrific underwater photography that captures images of real sharks and real fish, not fake CGI effects. The plot stays slow, lazy, and realistic. The script then brings in an additional couple, turning the story into a semi-ensemble character setup. As the plot develops, our two photogenic couples find some interesting stuff beneath the waves, which revs up the tension and conflict, and presents characters with moral dilemmas.
But the second half deteriorates into your typical Hollywood assembly-line action flick, with a whole series of super fast edit sequences and silly, totally unrealistic, out-of-control plot points spurred on by peripheral characters that detract enormously from the two couples. Frenetic action, accompanied by irritatingly frenetic background music, ruins the second half, and makes a mockery of the story's premise.
Acting is okay, I guess, given that this is a highly physical film wherein physical attractiveness and agility probably mean more than subtle theatrical skills. If there's a weakness here it's Scott Caan, whose cocky Bryce comes across as a total jerk, with nary a redeeming quality.
"Into The Blue" is very easy to judge. It contains wonderful cinematography, especially the underwater segments. And the strong visuals get support from impressive sound effects. But the story, though it begins well, collapses in the second half. The script is to blame. And yet I can't help but think that the real villain here is some Hollywood producer, typically underestimating the intelligence of viewers, who thinks that the story doesn't really matter if there's enough eye candy and explosive, mind-blowing action.