Film Review of Poseidon

Film Review of Poseidon

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Poseidon, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, is an action-packed adventure thriller that is loosely the remake of the 1970s movie The Poseidon Adventure. It has the same basic story idea, but has completely different characters. And although the characters end up being dull and seemingly useless, the movie is very fun and exciting to watch.
It takes place on New Year’s Eve aboard the cruise ship “Poseidon.” As the guests are counting down the seconds until midnight, a very large rogue wave is spotted. It hits the cruise ship and flips the entire thing upside-down, but it remains afloat.
Most of the crew and some passengers die instantly, others are badly injured, and the rest are fine with the exception of minor injuries. One man, Dylan (Josh Lucas) decides he is going to get out of the ship through the bottom, knowing the ship wasn’t meant to stay afloat upside-down. And although reluctant at first, he allows a few others to join him, including Robert (Kurt Russel) – a former mayor and firefighter, Richard (Richard Dreyfuss) – a lonely gay man, Valentin (Freddy Rodriguez) – a ship employee, and Maggie and her son (Jacinda Barrett and Jimmy Bennett).
Along the way, they pick up Robert’s daughter, Jennifer (Emmy Rassum) and her fiancé Christian (Mike Vogel), Elena (Mia Maestro) – a friend of Valentin, and Lucky Larry (Kevin Dillon) – a poker player.
While trying to make it through the ship, they are faced with many obstacles. The ship is filled with water, flash fires, debris, dead bodies, and more. And time is running out, they need to make it to the bottom of the ship before the entire thing sinks.
Poseidon is basically based on the same concept as The Poseidon Adventure, being that the ship gets hit by a monstrous-sized rogue wave and flips over, and people try to get out. However, there are many differences. For example, the characters are completely different – i.e.: instead of a brother and sister, it’s a girl and her fiancé, instead of an old couple, its two people that meet for the first time and have an attraction towards each other. And you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone on the ship the size of Shelly Winters.
The characters also seem quite dull in this remake. There really is no set-up to tell us why they are on the ship or how they got there compared to the original.

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All the characters do have their own little problems (e.g. Robert went from a hero fire fighter to a not-so-good mayor, and seems to miss being the ‘hero’), but other than the fact that the group is mostly young characters, there doesn’t seem to be any real reason any of them should survive and get off the boat. Except Elena, who is only on the ship because her brother is ill and she wants to see him. In the original, though, the brother and sister had to get to their parents, the old couple is heading to see their grandson they’ve never met, etc.
Another problem with the characters is that there is hardly any conflict at all. Besides a little argument about leaving the main ballroom in the first place, and some I’m-going-this-way-I-don’t-care-what-you-say kind of bickering, the characters just go from one obstacle to the next.
Poseidon may not be a great movie with great characters, but it is still quite entertaining and fun to watch. It had fantastic special effects, and other than the opening scene of the ship on the ocean, it looked like a real cruise ship throughout the entire movie. In the scene of the ship getting hit by the rogue wave, it was so detailed that it really felt real. It showed every part of the ship, things breaking off and going everywhere, lights going out, the ship rocking back and forth after it flipped, etc. And the movie was definitely an adventure. Even after seeing the original, you could never be sure about what was going to happen next, who was going to survive and who wasn’t, what kind of obstacles they were going to face, or how they were going to deal with those obstacles. There are definitely a few things in this movie that make you grip your seat and hang on, which makes it a blast to watch.
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