Budget: $50 million
Box Office: $19 million US, $26 million Int’l, $Unavailable DVD
Directed by: John Stockwell, who previously made Turistas, Blue Crush, Crazy/Beautiful, and Under Cover, but may well be most famous for his role as Cougar in Top Gun.
Starring: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin, and James Frain.
A salvage diver discovers a legendary shipwreck, but lacks the necessary finances to raise it. Nearby, he also discovers a downed drug plane, filled with drugs, and his friend tries to convince him to unload the drugs to fund the salvage operation. As you might expect, this plan goes seriously awry.
Entertainment Value: B+
Alright, I know it’s Paul Walker and Jessica Alba and Scott Caan. Granted. But this was actually pretty entertaining. Sure, it’s no great work of art, but I was pleasantly surprised that this was engaging, interesting, and it even has very good themes to offer. Besides, it’s pretty clean for a PG-13.
Superficial Content: C
Drugs/Alcohol D, Sexuality C, Violence D, Language C, Illegality C
Drugs, obviously are a major element here, including some use of cocaine and drinking of alcohol. There are sexual inferences and semi-sexual scenes, but no nudity. The language is pretty standard for a PG-13. Violence includes shark attacks with lots of blood, killing people in creative and brutal ways, and a fistfight.
Significant Content: A
Here’s where this movie shines. This is the sort of movie I love to recommend because the message it carries needs to be heard by exactly the sort of people likely to be enticed to go see it. Love is more important than treasure, and you must be willing to give up everything for real love. Making bad choices, even if they seem like good ones at the time, will inevitably lead to problems you don’t want. Finding a good woman versus finding a bad woman makes all the difference in the world to a man’s future. Finally, bad company corrupts good character. I daresay the themes are virtually Biblical, though clearly without much reference to God.
Artistic/Thought Value: B
Because the story is compelling, and the cinematography of the underwater scenes is wonderful, the themes are carried along for the ride, as they should be. I almost wrote a blurb review for this one, but I knew there was more here than a mere blurb would convey.
~“What’s missing in your life that money will get for you?” How useful of a question is this in the movie? How useful would it be for other people to ask?
~“Winners make the rules. Losers live by them.” What do you think of this idea? Who says it, and why is that important?
~Have you ever had problems because you chose to hang around with the wrong people? Why is it so important who you choose as your friends?
~The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. How is that theme shown in this movie? Who is free from the love of money? What other dangers besides greed are shown here?
~Have you ever been tempted to do something wrong “just this one time?” What did you do, and how did it turn out?
~In the end, does it seem like real justice is done in this movie for everyone who deserves it?
~What do you think of the notion of giving up treasure for real love? Does this sound similar to something that God teaches us we must do?
Overall Grade: B+
This is a far better movie than I was expecting to find, and it’s one that deserves a watch, especially if you know someone who has greed or crime issues.