Into the Blue 2: The Reef (2009) - Unrated

Genre(s): Thriller
MGM || Unrated - 92 minutes - $26.98 || April 21, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-04-05


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Stephen Herek
Writer(s): Mitchell Kapner
Cast: Chris Carmack, Laura Vandervoort, Marsha Thomason, Michael Graziadei, David Anders, Audrina Patridge


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Music Video


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

I can sum up my review of Into the Blue 2: The Reef in five words: It did not completely suck.

Let me first get out of the way my loathing for the original starring Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan and Josh Brolin, a movie that for some reason I could barely tolerate when I saw it theaters back in 2005. Sure, Alba is hot slinking in a bikini for 90-minutes, nothing wrong with that at all, hell, it was the only thing that kept it from being the worst movie I had ever seen. And now a direct-to-video sequel-in-title-only gets unleashed upon an unsuspecting public. But something strange happened: it actually exceeded my insanely low expectations!

Into the Blue 2: The Reef is about Sebastian (Chris Carmack; Butterfly Effect: Revelation) and Dani (Laura Vandervoort; “Smallville”), a loving couple who run a diving business and are up to their necks in debt but Sebastian has the dream of one day owning his own boat. One day, the answer to his prayers come when Azra (Marsha Thomason; “Las Vegas”) and Carlton (David Anders; “Heroes”), a couple visiting Hawaii and request diving services. Of course, they’re after something more: it seems Carlton and Azra lost a couple containers with stolen goods taken from Iraq and if Sebastian and Dani help recover, there is a hefty reward in it for them. Easy money, right?

The first 30-minutes of the movie is just some scenic underwater shots, beach volleyball and lame attempts of character development for Sebastian and Dani’s best friends who cannot stand each other but can’t stay away, meaning they’re in love. How sweet. In any case, it’s not until the last 20-minutes where things pick up and save Into the Blue 2 from being a waste of time and, dare I say, actually be entertaining.

The acting was very much as expected. Not going to criticize them too hard as I’m sure the script was none too kind, but it’s on par with a direct-to-video feature where you get some stilted line readings by the likes of Chris Carmack, a part he excels at only to show off his bare chest (something for the ladies) and Audrina Partridge (“The Hills” fame) who makes a couple appearances to scold her boyfriend.

Listen, people know what they’re getting with this kind of film. It’s not some masterful action suspense-thriller like the Bourne movies and as such, Into the Blue 2 isn’t a horrid film, just a forgettable one more than anything. I did find myself enjoying the finale so that with Laura Vandervoot’s beauty, the movie isn’t a complete waste, just the first half or so, that’s all...

I know many point to 90-minutes of bikinis and hot bods, but quite frankly, I can turn on a Hawaiian beach special on the Travel Channel and get the same thing, but with better photography, acting and a story.

Interesting to note, Into the Blue 2 was directed by Stephen Herek, who also helmed some notable films including: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead, The Mighty Ducks, Mr. Holland’s Opus and Rock Star with Mark Wahlberg.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There’s not much on the DVD except a music video, which is just a compilation of shots from the movie and behind-the-scenes footage and two featurettes: Get Wet (11:42) shows the actors training for their diving and Run for Your Life (6:42) talks about, well, the big running-chase sequence near the end of the film, the inspiration for which came from Run Lola Run.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The screener we received is watermarked and littered with compression/pixilation. Once we get the final copy in, the rating will be adjusted.

The DVD does come with a good Dolby Digital 5.1 track, a track that makes you feel like you’re underwater with them! Well, it’s a fine audio experience, pretty good for a direct-to-video flick.



.::OVERALL::.

Into the Blue 2: The Reef is not as bad as I feared. Don’t get me wrong, the acting is downright terrible, the characters are just a rehash of the originals with different actors and the story, while distinguishable, is just a tad contrived. That said, I will give the film credit with an entertaining finale even if the first half is dull.