"Into the Blue 2: The Reef"
April 22, 2009 by Zach Demeter
So…uhh, you know that movie from 2005 with Jessica Alba and Paul Walker (and Josh Brolin [?!]) that no one really went to see, but it still made money because Alba was in a bikini the entire time? Yeah, well, they made a sequel to it with an all-new cast. Unlike the first film, however, there isn’t even any name recognition to take in—some cast members of Smallville, Lost and Heroes are as star studded as this feature gets. But hey—it’s about girls in bikinis and buff guys without shirts, so really…does it matter? It’s all about eye candy anyway.
Ride the wave of extreme ocean adventure as Into the Blue 2: The Reef tells the white-knuckle tale of scuba divers Sebastion (Chris Carmack) and Dani (Laura Vandervoort), a sexy couple thrown into precarious waters when they are promised big money in exchange for leading dives along a treacherous Hawaiian reef. At the hands of dubious clients, the young couple is plunged into danger and an ultimate test of their diving skills, as well as their love, strength --and will to live.
Ahhh…man, this…yeah you know what I’m gonna say. I understand there’s a market for this type of stuff, but it’s kind of like Girls Gone Wild, without the nudity (although there is some of it in here—just none of the main characters. Incidental character breasts only, guys) and with a plot. If that sounds like the worst thing imaginable…well, it’s not the worst thing imaginable, but it’s certainly up on the list. I get the appeal of these films, but I just cannot get into them to save my soul. I like looking at bikini clad girls as much as the next guy, but there’s just too much stupid to take in with it.
It’s not even that the acting is particularly horrible here (Vandervoort, to her credit, can act somewhat well), it’s just the story is ridiculously annoying. After Into the Blue and Fool’s Gold I’ve had just about enough of treasure diving slackers, thank you, and maybe now that we’re getting direct-to-video editions of the films, they finally stop going theatrical. Plus, we got some high class talent like Audrina Partridge who is barely in the film at all, yet will probably be the most famous thing about it.
I could talk about the plot for a few paragraphs, but what’s the point? Some evil guys after something that’s a bomb and there’s some double crossing (oh no!) that goes on, but no one really cares. It’s not even an escapist thing—I cannot relate to these people hunting for buried treasure with guns to their heads, as I find nothing about their sun-tanned lives to correlate with. But, again…it’s about the bare skin being shown, I get that, but I don’t watch movies for that stuff to be honest and when that’s all the film is offering me, it results in an absolutely worthless venture for me.
The film isn’t a total loss, at least. Take away the script and nudity and you still get some decent scenery (although the watermarked copy I got for review mucked up the transfer into a blocky mess most of the time) to gaze upon. Clear oceans, and sandy beaches complete with obligatory volleyball game and multiple montages that were reminiscent of 24 in their composure. In fact the font used for the credits looked nearly identical to the font used on 24, now that I think about it…
Again, it’s a pretty mediocre outing from start to finish, but I guess someone somewhere will find it an enjoyable mess. Me…I just wanted it to be over and the sooner the bad guys were caught/got their bomb/whatever, the better. Oh and there was an obligatory happy ending with our heroes prevailing, but I can’t say I care too much about that either.
Am I being too hard on this film? Absolutely. Its pure fluff meant to move copies because of the bodies on the cover and nothing more. And that’s exactly what you’ll get out of it too—cheap eye candy. Skip It unless you’re really hard up; but do keep in mind that it’s not remotely PG-13 like the first one—there’s nudity, sex, and cursing to make this one a lot more “adult” over the last film.
I can’t comment on the packaging as Fox sent me a disc-only copy (complete with the aforementioned water marked image). Menus are simple, motionless and easy to navigate, while the transfer is…well, I won’t comment on that either as it can look decent at times, but the added compression of the watermark throws the underwater sequences and club bits into a blocky massacre. The audio mix, a DD5.1 affair, is mostly front channel chatter, but there’s some subwoofer output courtesy of the music and occasional violence.
Extras include Get Wet (11:42), which is a making of and no, I did not make up the name of the extra—it really says that on the menu. Run For Your Life (6:42) is a recap of what it took to make the “exciting” running sequence in the film that lasted all too long and finally a Back to Beach: Music Video (1:40) wraps up the movie-specific extras. Also included is a set of Trailers: The Betrayed, Dead Like Me, Hit and Run.
Overall Into the Blue 2 is not worth watching and the extras are lame. Pretty scenery though. Skip It.
Into the Blue 2: The Reef is now available on DVD..