Director: John Stockwell
Cast: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin
Plot: Struggling treasure hunters, Jared and Sam (Walker and Alba), think their luck is in, when Jared’s brother (Caan) shows up with a hired luxury boat. But when they start looking for treasure, they stumble across a crashed plane, full of cocaine.
This movie revolves around four friends whose treasure hunt is disturbed by the discovery of a lost stash of cocaine. Holier than thou girlfriend, Jessica Alba, wants to do the right thing and report the hidden drugs to the police. Jared, knowing that a police hunt would ruin his one chance to find a long-lost treasure in the same location, wants to pretend they never found it, at the least for a couple of days. Jared’s brother wants to sell it and get rich that way. Then there’s Ashley Scott, who wants to take the drugs for themselves and get insanely high. The movie is basically the four of them debating on what to do. Before they figure out an answer, the owners of the missing drugs show up and the four friends find themselves caught in the crossfire.
In fairness, this premise isn’t actually as bad as it sounds. A sharp script keeps the debate fresh and we cannot help but put ourselves in their shoes and try to figure out what we would do in that situation. It is the rest of the film that is pretty weak. It sells itself as an action thriller, but the action feels rushed and routine. This is a very pretty film, giving us some beautiful underwater locations to admire, but if you looking for something a little deeper and meaningful, you should probably be looking elsewhere.
The real flaw of this film is that the four leads aren’t the best actors going. None of them are truly awful, but these four actors always work best, when put next to a powerhouse actor and bouncing their lines off of them. Paul Walker excels when working alongside Vin Diesel, but when left on his own, his lines rarely hit their mark. You can’t help but wish that one member of the group was given to a bigger name, who could take control of the story and deliver a worthwhile performance. Also the characters are driven by the aforementioned stance they have on the missing drugs. Scott Caan plays a cocky party boy, Ashley Scott is the forgettable bimbo and Walker pretty much plays O’Conner from ‘Fast and Furious’ but with a boat, instead of a Skyline. It is Jessica Alba who ends up with the character that really pushes your patience. She always seems too righteous and before long, you will be fed up off her trademark frown. The best actor, and character, here is the movie’s antagonist, but he is left hidden from the audience for a final act twist (which is a pretty dumb move, as everyone knows who it is going to be from the first few scenes).
There isn’t really a moment in this film that screams awful, but there isn’t really a moment that makes the film stand out as a good one either. Director Stockwell seems to hope that the pretty backdrop is enough to pull in audiences and tacks on the story afterwards. As a result, this film makes a watchable thriller, but little else.
Final verdict: While a fairly decent watch, everything about this film feels average and lazy. You will soon forget about this flick.