You can just imagine the discussions among the studio executives.
"Let's make a film with Jessica Alba in a bikini!" "Great idea! What's the plot angle?" "Plot? With Jess in a bikini do we need a plot? Make her character a swimwear model or something!" "Naah, too obvious. What about pirates of the Caribbean, sunken treasure, that sort of thing? Make Jess a scuba diver. In a bikini, of course".
And so we end up with a sort of unacknowledged remake of "The Deep" from the seventies. Like the earlier film, it is about treasure hunters diving for sunken treasure and tangling with drug-dealing gangsters, and like that film it relies heavily upon the charms of its scantily-clad leading lady, Alba here and Jacqueline Bissett in "The Deep". (Indeed, "The Deep" itself can be seen as an unacknowledged remake of "Underwater" from the fifties, a film whose main attraction was the sight of a scantily-clad Jane Russell). "Into the Blue", however, does offer a bonus to its target young male audience; we have two couples, not just one, diving for the treasure, so we get to see two pretty girls in bikinis. (Ashley Scott is the other).
There is a problem with remakes, acknowledged or unacknowledged. Or rather, there are two problems. If you try to remake a good film, the critics will gleefully claim that your effort is nowhere near as good as the original. And if you try to remake a bad one, they will (equally gleefully) accuse you of desperately trying to succeed with a formula which failed last time. Well, "The Deep" was (in my view at least) a pretty bad film, and "Into the View" does not improve on it. Indeed, it is probably even worse.
The main flaws of "The Deep" were a clichéd plot, some manic over-acting from Robert Shaw and some rather dull photography. The main flaws of "Into the Blue" are firstly a plot which is so tortured as to come, at times, close to well-nigh incomprehensible. Secondly, the dialogue is often difficult to hear clearly. I spent the whole of the running-time, for example, thinking that Paul Walker's character was called "Gerry"; it wasn't until I saw the closing credits that I realised this was actually supposed to be "Jared". Mishearing a character's name would not in itself have spoilt the film for me, but this was merely one symptom of a wider problem, and frequently mishearing crucial lines of dialogue certainly did spoil it.
And thirdly there is the acting. Alba put me in mind of Louis B. Mayer's famous dictum about Esther Williams- "Wet she's a star, dry she ain't". She earned a Razzie nomination for Worst Actress. None of her co-stars were so nominated, although if Mayer had seen their performances here he might have opined that "wet they ain't stars, and dry they ain't either". And that includes that other big name, Walker, for once in his career acting in a film without any fast cars in it.
Alba and Walker are merely wooden, but Scott Caan as Bryce, the other boy in the foursome, is something worse than wooden. He makes Bryce so unsympathetic (admittedly, with a lot of help from the scriptwriters) that we end up wondering just when he is going to get his well-deserved come-uppance along with the rest of the villains. Incredibly, however, we are supposed to accept Bryce as one of the good guys, even though he can see no moral objection to collaborating with a vicious gang of drug smugglers and even though he shows very little emotion when his girlfriend is killed by a shark. (He would be a lot more upset about losing the gold than he is about losing his girl). Bryce is supposed to be a hot-shot New York lawyer; the New York Bar Association should sue the film-makers for implying that they would ever permit such an unprincipled jerk to practice law.
About the most one can say for the film is that the underwater sequences are generally attractive and well done. And, of course, Jessica Alba looks gorgeous. But, I'm afraid, sometimes bikinis are just not enough to turn a badly written, badly directed and badly acted film into a good one. 3/10