Into the Blue 2: The Reef Review

I wouldn't have thought it possible to make me appreciate Fool's Gold. Fool's Gold impressed me in how thoroughly it wasted the talents of Donald Sutherland, Kate Hudson and yes, even Matthew McConaughey. A comedy in the Caribbean looking for lost treasure that just never delivers. It was a shame. But Fool's Gold, for all its failings looks and sounds like a masterpiece when put up against Into the Blue 2: The Reef, the most recent direct-to-DVD sequel of a movie no one cared about even with Jessica Alba in a bikini. Jessica Alba in a bikini. By all accounts that's normally enough to turn some heads - and apparently it turned just enough to warrant a sequel of the crappiest caliber. Yes people, it's that bad.

Sebastion (Chris Carmack) and Dani (Laura Vandervoort) live the idyllic life of SCUBA Divemasters in the Caribbean looking for unclaimed treasures worth millions - but thus far their search has been unsuccessful.  One day a smarmy British guy named Joshua (David Anders) and an alluring mysterious woman named Azra (Marsha Thomason) offer the diving duo a proposition: help them find a mysterious cargo for which they alone have the coordinates. Promised enticing amounts of cash, the pair signs on only to discover what the audience knew as soon as Joshua and Azra appeared on screen: the offer isn't on the level, they have ulterior motives.

There's not a single twist or juke in the plot's arsenal that isn't taught in Writing Thrillers 101. You've seen this story before; the supposed difference here is that they added SCUBA diving. Underwater shots are beautiful but they're not a panacea for some of the most glaring and obvious plot devices bad cinema has to offer. The best part, or rather worst part (depending on how funny you think this next part is), is that the writers don't even want their names associated with the movie. They didn't even choose to use one of those generic pseudonym's Hollywood folks have used for ages when they're not proud of what they've done. There are simply no names listed for writers. None. This dreck wasn't written. It sprung into being from the loins of some strange illiterate demon that likes to write screenplays.

Compounding the visual eyesore that is Into the Blue 2: The Reef is the acting and direction. Doing everything he can to make the movie flashy and hip, director Stephen Herek produces 87 minutes of schlock. The only time it ever has any beauty is the underwater moments and those are just too slow to be all that stimulating.

The acting of Into the Blue 2: The Reef reaches a whole new level of bad. Ignoring the fact that every word spoken by the two leads grates our nerves, we're still left with David Anders and Audrina Patridge who are unbearable to watch. David Anders who played a miserable villain in the second season of Heroes returns as virtually the same conniving character without the Wolverine-esque healing factor to make him interesting. Then there's perpetually-staring-at-the-ceiling Patridge who needs to never be cast in another motion picture ever again. The eye tick she has in The Hills is apparently permanent - no matter what she does, be it television or film, she's always staring at the ceiling and it's distracting as hell.

This shouldn't be watched by anyone with any taste in film. If I ever doubted that the current generation of moviegoers was being bred to enjoy crappy movies and that their increased affinity for crappy movies was a vicious cycle leading us all to a cinematic hell - this movie eliminates all such doubt.

DVD Bonus Features

"Get Wet" is the most substance the disc has to offer. We watch as the leads get accustomed to SCUBA diving and all the cuts and scrapes that come from living on a boat. They're still all vapid and brainless, but at least they're not reading from a god awful script. Stupidly enough, the director thought he'd give us a behind the scenes featurette for one of the worst chase scenes I've ever witnessed. There wasn't a single moment in the chase scene where Dani was actually in danger and it's so blatantly obvious on the screen ; the fact that they show us how "intensely" they had to train for such a horribly directed chase scene doesn't come as a treat or insight it's just laughable. Finally, we have a "making of" featurette put to music and labeled as a music video - again, laughable.


"Into the Blue 2: The Reef" is on sale April 21, 2009 and is rated PG13. Action, Drama. Directed by Stephen Herek. Written by No Writer Listed. Starring Audrina Patridge, Laura Vandervoort, Marsha Thomason, Chris Carmack, David Anders.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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