A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the movie begins with a harrowing plane crash into the sea, with violent imagery and editing. Young divers find a pirate ship's treasure and then the cocaine shipment that was aboard this crashed plane, then ponder whether to recover the drugs and sell them. Characters (especially girls) wear skimpy clothing on land and undersea. They see and swim alongside sharks when they dive; the movie includes two gruesome shark attacks, resulting in bloody water and ravaged bodies. A couple of scenes feature near-drownings (one character begins to turn blue, as his arm is stuck under a heavy cannon and he can't get loose). A car chase results in a couple of crashes, a killer leaves multiple dead bodies on a boat (though you don't see these murders, faces, legs, and feet appear in close-ups that might trouble younger viewers). Characters fight with knives, guns (one man is shot through the chest, quite graphically), harpoons, and in a couple of instances, oxygen tanks are slammed into opponents' heads. Handcuffed to a dead body (his eyes left disturbingly open), a young woman hacks off his hand with a machete (you see the knife head to the camera, then the scene cuts). Characters drink, smoke, and do drugs. The film includes sexual references, sexy dancing in a club with colored lights and liquor flowing, some embracing/kissing, and a discrete sex scene between the romantic leads. One character behaves callously when his girlfriend dies.
What's the story?
Happy but restless with their bohemian life in the Bahamas, Sam (Jessica Alba) and Jared (Paul Walker) live in a trailer. He's a treasure hunter who spends most of his time bailing water out of his rickety rusty boat, she instructs crowds at a Seaworld-style theme park as to the dining habits of sharks. Formerly employed by Bates (Josh Brolin), Jared still has dreams of the big score, but wants to do it the right way, an aim encouraged by breadwinner Sam and pooh-poohed by his jet-setty frat boy-type best friend Bryce (Scott Caan). A lawyer for drug dealers back home, Bryce arrives for a vacation with a girl he met the night before, Amanda (Ashley Scott). The two couples set out to enjoy their weekend, diving, sunning, and partying. Amid the pretty undersea imagery -- fish, coral, clear water -- they find a downed plane full of cocaine bricks (and a few dead, black bodies). They also discover a really old shipwreck, which might be a legendary pirate's ship. In order to get enough money to excavate the treasure with the proper equipment, Bryce and Amanda decide to collect and sell the cocaine. This leads the entire crew into a conflict with the local drug runners, very hard and mean men who think nothing of shooting associates through the chest.
Is it any good?
INTO THE BLUE doesn't even pretend to be serious; beautiful and very blue, the movie features frequent views of lithe young bodies in scant clothing. Granted, stars Alba and Walker look fabulous -- they're famous for doing just that. And they both spend much time in under- and swimwear.
But the plot is tedious enough and the underwater scenes clichéd enough to undermine such glib self-understanding. And so the movie is less easily forgivable for its excesses, much less its corny characters (for instance, a brutal kingpin (James Frain looking gaunt and sleepless), sly club-owner (Tyson Beckford), hapless island cop Roy (Dwayne Adway). And oh yes, the sharks. Though Sam is a professional expert on their habits and diets, and she and Jared are comfortable swimming among the non-man-eating sorts hanging round the treasure site, you can't really make a movie with sharks in it and not feature a couple of harrowing incidents.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: September 30, 2005
- On DVD or streaming: December 27, 2005
- Cast: Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Paul Walker
- Director: John Stockwell
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of action violence, drug material, some sexual content and language
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