Into the Blue (2005) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Sunken treasure, sharks, pirates, drug lords, police boats, compressor gauges pointing to zero, women in skimpy clothing.

You know, the usual underwater adventure stuff.

Many critics assailed the performances in this film, but I think the acting was misunderstood. All the actors in this adventure were making use of a Stanislavsky system. You may not be aware of it, but the great Russian acting teacher had more than one acting system. Most of you are familiar with his dry land method, but there is also an intricate Stanislavsky system for acting underwater. Well, to be honest, Konstantin Stanislavsky didn't really spend much time on the underwater version of the system. He just sort of kicked it off and lent his name to it. It was actually developed by his ne'er-do-well cousin, Sasha Stanislavsky, who sold it door-to-door in Moscow with a network of multi-level marketers. Sasha became incredibly rich, thanks to Russia's boundless fascination with underwater histrionics. Just as New Yorkers love their Shakespeare in the Park, there is nothing Moscovites love more on a summer night than Pushkin in the Pool. Lenin himself was torn between his desire for agrarian reform and his childhood dream of playing Alexander Nevsky in one of St. Petersburg's famed glass-walled Drama Canals, and Trotsky's reported assassination was merely a cover story to mask the fact that he actually passed away trying to take a curtain call. Unprepared for a particularly prolonged ovation for his Underwater Roskolnikov, he surfaced too quickly and died from the bends.

Bottom line: the acting is fine by Underwater Stanislavsky standards.

At any rate, Into the Blue has a plot, but it's pretty much what you'd expect. A poor-but-honest diver comes upon a treasure trove of sunken delights, and then finds the wreckage of a drug plane in the same vicinity. He can't file a salvage claim for the ancient wreckage until he can identify a precise source of the artifacts, and that will require time and patience. He won't be able to file any claim at all if he reports the wrecked drug plane, because "the place will be crawling with cops." So he compromises with his less-scrupulous partner and their girlfriends. They decide to leave the drug cache unreported until they can properly identify the ancient wreck and secure their salvage rights. Unfortunately, there are four people who know the location of a plane filled with enough cocaine. Some of them develop loose lips while others just get too greedy.

None of that provides any real surprises. It's your basic John Agar / Gilbert Roland movie updated with color photography, a better background score, and a script adapted to modern technology and pharmaceuticals. Better living through chemistry - and electronics.

I did find out something important from this film. Movie sharks are just like movie dogs. They can sense evil, and will only attack bad guys.

Into the Blue is not an original thriller, and the second half introduces too many tangential characters, but the film is not without pleasures. There is some entertainment value residing in the fact that it's a tale of two booties. Pirate booty. Jessica Alba's booty. Maybe that should be a tail of two booties. Or one booty tale and one booty tail. Whichever way is right, Into The Blue is watchable if you are interested in both the tale and the tail. It is a straightforward and sometimes suspenseful yarn filled with beautiful young people in swimsuits. (Alba and Paul Walker - most beautiful couple ever?) If you are interested in neither form of booty, skip it. If you are somewhere in between, I have two words for you: fast forward.



  • widescreen anamorphic
  • full length director commentary
  • 10 deleted scenes, optional commentary
  • "making of" featurette
  • screen tests


Jessica Alba shows one nipple, which falls from her blouse during an underwater struggle. She spends much of the film in a bikini, often with most of her bum uncovered.

Ashley Scott is seen sunbathing topless. She is filmed from the side, but there is no obvious sign of a nipple.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Super-panel consensus: no consensus. Like most critics, James Berardinelli was unimpressed (1/4), but Roger Ebert bucked the trend and awarded 3/4.

  • British consensus out of four stars: one and a half. Mail 4/10, Telegraph 2/10, Independent 4/10, Guardian 4/10, Sun 4/10, Express 4/10, Mirror 4/10, BBC 2/5.

The People Vote ...

  • Box Office Mojo. $18 million domestic, $21 million overseas. This was disappointing, since it opened in 2800 theaters.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C-. It's marginally interesting at times for the beautiful locales and people. Otherwise, it has rounded up the usual underwater suspects.

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