Sunday, May 14, 2006






Poseidon is a remake of the 1972 disaster movie, The Poseidon Adventure. It tells the story of a group of passengers aboard a ship, named Poseidon, that are put in harm's way once the ship hits a "Rogue" wave and is turned upside down. The rest of the film gives us a handfull of passengers to focus on as they try to get themselves out of harm's way and make their way to safety.

Remaking this film and turning it into a supposed Summer Movie Blockbuster is a pretty easy assumption from a movie studio exec. It's one of those high concepts, like all disaster films are, that will give the audience thrills and chills in abundance. It shouldn't be too hard to make a movie like this entertaining. That's where I see the appeal in studio's making disaster films. They're all basically the same film; you just have to pick the avenue you want to go down. There's the global spanning disaster films (Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow), or you could do one that centers in on a specific city like Los Angeles in Volcano, or maybe even a small town like Dante's Peak. Or you can even get more compact with your surroundings like in this case, on a boat at sea. The boat is usually the device used in this type of disaster film; although the movie Daylight did try to do the same thing with a tunnel, rather unsuccessfully I might add.

Then we get all of our stock characters to root for or against. We get the gambler (Lucas), the firefighter/former mayor (Russell), the gay architecht (Dreyfuss), the single mom (Barett) and her son (Jimmy Bennett), the stowaway (Mia Maestro), etc. These characters all have names, but you won't remember any of them after the film's over without looking on IMDB. Hell, you probably will forget their names two minutes after one of them is mentioned.

And of course we have all of our special effects sequences. In this film we get a lot of shots of fires going up elevator shafts as our motley crew just manages to avoid the flames. We've got our suspense scenes; mostly involving swimming underwater and running into dead bodies or getting tangled up in wires. There are also scenes of claustrophobia as our heros travel through air vents while the water keeps rising on them.

I'm not really sure where Wolfgang Petersen lost his way and got more caught up in effects than in story, but he has definately done just that. His last few movies such as A Perfect Storm and Air Force One got that trend going in the right direction, and Poseidon seems to have sealed the deal. The original Poseidon Adventure was one of those rare disaster films where we actually got invested in the characters, at least too a point, and were actually sad when they died. In the new Poseidon, when one of our characters dies, I was too busy trying to figure out which one they were to have any kind of emotional involvement.

So, if the characters are this souless then we have all of the cool action sequences, right? Well, clocking in at just over 90 minutes, they actually do manage to cram a lot of action in. However, Petersen really doesn't use the ship to his advantage, and makes everything fairly repetitive. Oh, look there's more shots of fire, and oh look, there's another cut to how quickly the water is rising. The most death defying stunt in the whole film is Josh Lucas (The Gambler, if you've forgotten already) dives into the water with fire hose. I know, you're on the edge of your seat aren't you?

Too much of the time in this film I was taken out wondering about all of the ridiculous things the movie has to offer. I keep asking myself, why is Richard Dreyfuss's character gay? Why is the token asshole character (Kevin Dillon) pissed off at Josh Lucas and Kurt Russell; couldn't they have had a scene to explain this? There was a two minute poker scene where Lucas made a bet, and got Dillon to fold his cards; is that why he's so pissed off here? Why is Andre Braugher (the Captain), a hell of an actor, given two scenes before he crokes? Why is Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, who plays the ship's lounge singer, not returning any of my phone calls?

Oh yeah. I guess I should answer the question at some point of is this movie worth seeing? If you can't figure it out from the review, please go waste your money; it would be my present to you. Enjoy.


At 5/18/2006 03:45:00 PM, Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Funny stuff ... I also had many thoughts as this boring disaster of a movie unfurled in front of me .. most were about how I could get my money back!


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