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Jessica Alba’s Breasts: The Movie

by Glen Baity

I have a longtime friend with whom I’ve had innumerable, virtually identical conversations about movies over the years. Here, briefly, is the content:

Him: ‘“Hey man, you wanna go see Fantastic Four?

Me: ‘“Nah, I don’t think so. Don’t you think it looks kinda crappy?’”

Him: ‘“Yeah, I guess. But Jessica Alba’s hot.’”

Me: ‘“What? What’s that got to do with anything?’”

Him: ‘“So if the movie sucks, at least, y’know’…’”

Me: ‘“Jessica Alba’s hot?’”

Him: ‘“Exactly.’”

Personally, I’ve never understood this rationale, but it speaks to a large demographic. Though I don’t get it, there are several million movie fans in this country alone that, for some reason, will go see anything with a hot girl in it. So maybe I’m the crazy one.

I only bring this up because while I was watching Into the Blue, I noticed several things. First: the movie is terrible. Second: Jessica Alba’s bikini should’ve received a co-writing credit, since it’s the only thing remotely interesting in the whole film. And third: as a result, the movie will probably at least break even.

Scuba diving must be a lot more boring than it seems, because in the movies, diving is forever portrayed as a means to an end: those who do it always seem to be waiting for something really exciting to happen. Into the Blue is the second film since late August involving moonlighting divers. Much like The Cave, which featured a group of divers who were also spelunkers, Into the Blue follows people whose interests are so narrowly tailored it’s a little intimidating. Honestly, I know hundreds of people in their mid-twenties, and it’s rare that I find anyone, apart from a handful of teachers and medical students, with such nuanced goals.

Jared (Paul Walker) is one such young man. Despite the fact that his life consists of nothing more emotionally taxing than leading diving tours and having sex with Jessica Alba, he dreams of being a full-time treasure hunter, scavenging the reef for sunken booty. While out diving with his girlfriend Sam (Alba), his best friend Bryce (Scott Caan), and some girl Bryce picked up in a nightclub (Ashley Scott), Jared discovers a downed plane on the ocean floor, a former transport for drug traffickers, containing several million dollars’ worth of soggy cocaine.

It’s a long, stupid story, but the gist is that Jared, the most honest man ever to squeeze into a wetsuit, refuses Bryce’s idea to salvage the drugs for profit. He’d rather dig up the wreckage of the Zephyr, a supposedly mythical pirate ship that, coincidentally, turns up a few hundred yards away.

The owners of the downed plane eventually come looking for their lost treasure, disrupting Jared’s team in the process. As the plot moves along, friendships are tested, true alliances revealed, and the bonds of logic cast off victoriously.

All the while, director John Stockwell’s camera finds ample time to leer at Alba and Scott from every imaginable angle, often in slow motion, in the process revealing the film’s only true purpose. Though present throughout the film, these shots are most noticeable in a series of wholly unnecessary montages reminiscent of Corona commercials, which are included to give the people what they paid to see ‘— a cinematic episode of E!’s Wild On, but ever so slightly hornier.

And hey, I get it ‘— Alba is a beautiful woman, but I feel comfortable enough in my heterosexuality to say that this fact alone is a poor premise for a film. Call me old-fashioned, but I’d rather have a coherent, interesting story, and if I want to see Alba do soft-core porn, I’ll subscribe to Stuff Magazine.

Also, since we’re talking about it: Alba the sex symbol has skyrocketed to fame, but Alba the actor has yet to do anything really impressive (unless you count 1999’s Idle Hands), and Into the Blue won’t win her any serious respect. She might have chemistry with the camera, but chemistry with her fellow actors is another issue entirely.

In her defense, she’s not the worst onscreen presence by a long shot. Walker’s performance recalls Speed-era Keanu Reeves, and his accomplice, the relentlessly smarmy Scott Caan, reads like American Pie’s Stifler if he’d made a detour on Wall Street (‘“Winners make the rules and losers live by them,’” he says at one point).

There really aren’t any notable performances ‘— not from any of the leads, nor from erstwhile model Tyson Beckford, sporting the most ill-advised mohawk this side of Diddy ‘— and the plot sounds like something straight out of ‘“Magnum P.I.’” As always, I emphasize that everyone goes to the movies for different reasons, and I cast no judgement on those who just want to see some pretty girls in bathing suits, even if personally I don’t think that’s worth eight dollars. On the off chance that somebody out there is intrigued by the actual story of Into the Blue, I feel I must warn you of what I consider to be almost certain disappointment.

But, y’know’… at least Jessica Alba’s hot.

This critique does not represent the views of Glen Baity’s libido, which recently named Into the Blue the best summer movie since The Real Cancun. To comment, e-mail him at egothelivingplanet@excite.com.

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