Review of 'Poseidon'

poseidon.jpg A remake of “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972) starring Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine, of the period of disaster and drama movies that also included “The Towering Inferno” (1974) and, later, “Airport '77” (1977) whose overly dramatic acting, minimal story elements and plastic looking set pieces would grace the small screen in long-running sitcoms of the day. Oh, how far we have come…but not really.

It is New Year's Eve with thousands of passengers enjoying themselves on the massive luxury cruise ship “Poseidon”. When a massive rogue wave flips the ship upside down a serial gambler, Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas), chooses to ignore the advice of the crew and decide to rescue himself by climbing up (down) to the hull and crawl out through the bow thrusters. He is joined by a group of passengers including Jennifer Ramsey (Emmy Rossum), a young daughter of a patronizing former New York mayor, Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russel), and her fiancé Christian (Mike Vogel) who are finding it difficult to tell her father that they are engaged. Architect Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss) reluctantly tags along having recently been dumped by his boyfriend and contemplating suicide. A single mother, Maggie James (Jacinda Barrett) and her son Conor (Jimmy Bennett) also join the group as they set off from the disaster that is the ballroom. Later they are joined by others as they encounter various obstacles along the way - A fire in the ship's kitchen, blocked and/or flooded corridors, the destroyed central atrium that they must cross a hundred feet above the ground, etc, etc. There are difficult decisions to make and not all of them will make it.

Updated with the latest cinema technology, it is certainly a lot better looking than “The Poseidon Adventure” from 34 years earlier and the acting has also moved on, thankfully. A good action flick that does on occasion fall back on Hollywood stereotypes, but you do genuinely feel a bit of tension as the drama increases and it good to see that not everyone is safe though don't worry too much, the young hero/heroine always seems to survive…

Yeah, it is ok, middle of the road, Hollywood blockbuster. Didn't do terribly well in the cinemas though could be a slow burner (much like the original film which was repeated on television for years after initially shown).

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-06-11

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Studio: Warner Brothers

Year: 2006

Length: 98 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Wolfgang Petersen: