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Reckoning

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INTO THE BLUE

SYNOPSIS:
Jared Cole (Paul Walker) is a scuba diving instructor in the Bahamas, who spends most of his spare time searching for treasure. He lives in a modest trailer with his girlfriend Sam (Jessica Alba), who happily works as a shark handler at a local resort. When Jared's old friend Bryce Dunn (Scott Caan), now a New York attorney, arrives in Jamaica with his new girlfriend Amanda Collins (Ashley Scott), life changes. While diving, Jared discovers evidence of a shipwreck and makes a pact with his friends to find enough relics to lodge a claim. Meanwhile, they also find a crashed plane lying on the bottom of the ocean, whose secret cargo of cocaine is being sought by dangerous drug dealers.

Review by Louise Keller:
A rather ludicrous story about sunken treasure and illicit drugs, Into The Blue has as its main attractions the beautiful bodies of Paul Walker and Jessica Alba. Set in the tranquil, cerulean waters of the Bahamas, the song Wonderful World, Beautiful People pretty well sums up at least half of the story, as we watch them dip and dive among the tropical fish, kiss and cuddle and get into precarious situations. The camera is almost voyeuristic as it pans up and down the bodies of the barely clad cast. Walker with his hair cropped short, designer stubble, even tan and a perfectly contoured body is well worth looking at, as is Alba, who flaunts a different bikini every time we see her.

The main flaw of the storyline is the unbelievable friendship between Walker's Jared and Scott Caan's old pal Bryce. Bryce is a ratbag of the highest order, whereas Jared has integrity (until he has a lapse, that is). Bryce's new girlfriend Amanda (Ashley Scott, excellent) also has a dark side and neither character is appealing. When Jared agrees to take some of the cocaine found from the underwater crashed airplane to pay for treasure-seeking expenses, it is against every principle his character represents.

The script is predictable and trite, with lines like 'Everything's going to be alright,' and 'Ok, bro.' But the cast does all that's required, and it's hard to know at times which are more dangerous - the drug dealers or the sharks, whose killer instincts are provoked on several occasions. The plot is seriously overdone in the last half hour, and loud sound effects alert us when we should feel afraid. Josh Brolin makes an intriguing adversary, and I enjoyed the Bahamas ambience and the beauty of the undersea world.

Into The Blue is an escapist adventure that offers plenty of eye candy. For Paul Walker fans, let's hope he takes on a more challenging project soon.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

INTO THE BLUE (M)
(US)

CAST: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin, James Frain

PRODUCER: David Zelon

DIRECTOR: John Stockwell

SCRIPT: Matt Johnson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Shane Hurlbut

EDITOR: Nicolas De Toth, Dennis Virkler

MUSIC: Paul Haslinger

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Maia Javan

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 20, 2005







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