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Originally published Friday, September 30, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Movie review

"Into the Blue": Adventure focuses on Alba's bod

"Into the Blue" has something to do with tiger sharks and a sunken planeload of cocaine and a long-lost 18th-century ship and I-don't-know-what...

Special to The Seattle Times

"Into the Blue" has something to do with tiger sharks and a sunken planeload of cocaine and a long-lost 18th-century ship and I-don't-know-what-all.

What I do know is that the film is really — shall we say — an unapologetic appreciation of Jessica Alba's sun-golden form undulating like a devilfish beneath the sapphire waters of the Bahamas. "Into the Blue" is directed by John Stockwell, whose camera shamelessly played peekaboo with Kirsten Dunst's curviest assets in "Crazy/Beautiful" and who glorified surfer-girl iconography anew in "Blue Crush."

Strip away "Into the Blue's" perfunctory, agonizingly drawn-out story line about an attempt to salvage a pirate vessel parked beside a downed plane full of cocaine, and one would find maybe 40 minutes of footage brazenly concerned with Alba's topography and underwater lap dance.

Movie review 1.5 stars

Showtimes and trailer

"Into the Blue," with Jessica Alba, Paul Walker, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott. Directed by John Stockwell, from a screenplay by Matt Johnson. Rated PG-13 for violence, some sexual content, drug material and language. 110 minutes. Several theaters.

Not that it's a problem: Stockwell isn't kidding anyone about the fantasy element selling this movie. Because it sure isn't the monotonous script, which finds Alba's character, Sam, plus her dreary, underdog boyfriend, Jared (Paul Walker of "The Fast and the Furious"), his idiotic lawyer pal, Bryce (a typically overbearing Scott Caan), and the latter's decadent girlfriend, Amanda (Ashley Scott), debating and re-debating and re-re-debating the wisdom of appropriating drugs they find aboard the plane's wreckage.

Selling the coke back to its owner, they figure, will pay the steep costs involved with raising antiquities and sundry treasures from the Zephyr, a ship commanded by a former slave centuries ago. The cutthroat drug peddlers interested in retrieving their product have a simpler idea: Get our stuff or we'll kill you. Hungry tiger sharks circling the plane's debris have their own agenda. The villains here have the clearer business plan.

It takes Stockwell forever to get these details into place, because he's primarily concerned with Caribbean and bikini-clad eye candy. But even that loses its novelty in a ridiculous showcase like this.

Tom Keogh:

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