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Starring: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell Jacinda Barrett, Jimmy Bennett Emmy Rossum and Richard Dreyfuss
Directed by : Wolfgang Petersen
Josh Lucas Interview
Kudos to Production design lead by: William Sandell and editor extraordinaire Peter Honess, along with a wonderfully ominous score by Klaus BadeltBlunt aside: a warnin' to da landlubbers among ya! Ye may be queasy from da first hint of a certain spectacular splash.


Bluntly speaking? The only thing this film shares with its grandma, ye old school flick The Poseidon Adventure, is the Poseidon name and the big bad wave - There's no character development and the maze-like journey the cast endures seems like a coupla hours of heartless human torture.

Story goes…the folks aboard the luxury liner, Poseidon, are ringing in the New Year. But before the champagne and petit fours can be properly digested, the turmoil begins as we meet a few folks whose lives are about to be turned - literally - upside down.

There's the ex-mayor of New York Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell), and his daughter Jennifer (Emmy Rossum) and her boyfriend Christian (Mike Vogel). We see there's a rift 'tween the trio that has a lot to do with daddy's little girl being a lady...

Then there's a mysterious stranger aboard (Mia Maestro). She seems to be a stow away. She's the poor kid who was "lucky" enough to get aboard at the last minute, and comes complete with the sick-little-brother-in-the-hospital-waiting-for-her-arrival-at-the-end-of-the-cruise emotional plot ploy.

There's the recently dumped millionaire who's planning on ending his life this evening ( Richard - "Please can I just NOT hear a Jaws reference ONCE today? I did other films too you know. And I teach at Oxford for criminey!" - Dreyfuss). He's not having such a great night, and the forcast looks like his silver lining may be Fool's gold.

Then there's the single mom Maggie (Jacinda Barrett), and her son Conor (Jimmy Bennett). She's a doting sort - but dollars to donuts there's gonna be some kind of, "kid-does-something-annoying" scene that'll make you want to pass the ortho novum...and rethink that whole biological clock dohinkie dealy.

There's a Slim Whitmanesque ass played by Kevin Dillon who is a lounge lizard who's sure to be quiping with the insults and demeaning the demure women folk when flames burst and the red glare of impending doom stares the future Flying Dutchmen in the retina.

And finally we have the professional gambler Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas). He's brooding, handsome and chiseled like a hero. Plus, he's got a helluva lot more up his sleeve than a pair of aces.

Little do they all realize, as each of them smiles, celebrating or toasting their own moment in time, before the New Year's resolutions they're making even have a chance to be broken, a terrible wave will hit their beautiful vessel and that extra fudge brownie calorie content will seem moot.

It is 110 feet of moving force that strikes from the darkness and moves on; a rogue wave. In its wake, the wave literally turns the ship over, and we the audience watch in horror as people fly and die in the most realistic of ways…

Dylan decides he is leaving the ballroom, where a few hundred lucky survivors are huddled, and will try to find the bottom of the ship - which is now the top - and get to the open ocean. A series of quick interactions brings him several fellow passengers who wish to join him. The gang sets off to navigate through the new layers of hell the disaster has created...

They will be tested in one of the cruelest underwater mazes you can even imagine. It's a good thing that the ex-Mayor is also an ex-firefighter, and Dylan seems to be an ex-Navy Seal, because they are going to need all the ship savvy know-how they can muster mister Roberts. The ship is upside down and flooding...not a fun-filled jaunt to freedom here.

Not at all.

The problem with Poseidon is the character development. There is none. Truth be told, if it were not for the book-like press notes I wouldn't know who or what each character was really up to.

Josh Lucas plays the reluctant hero-to-be Dylan Johns. He's got a chip on the shoulder the size of Orson Welles (circa 1970's). But, underneath the brazen façade is knight in shining armor de amore. Dylan's a regular Joe who's apparently pretty handy in submersed tin cans, a McGyver of the Sea…sure ol' Josh is swell lookin' and the wet clothes don't hurt your fancy none, but there's too much grief going on to fully enjoy his man beauty. Here's a nice tongue twister for you, repeat five times fast: "Gosh is Josh Hot" Fun no?

Kurt Russell is one of my all time faves. His mayor/father character seems like Kurt's just bein' himself; a nice and a take-charge chap that loves his kid.

The girls aboard the barge, meanwhile, give good grief.

Bottom line ? Poseidon is gut wrenching wiggle in your seat terror. But still it misses as a thriller 'cause there's no time to know or care about who's about to die. And it misses as a disaster film 'cause we've been beat up lately with real life tragedy. People die too realistically, and a smidge too horrifically and thanks to the special effects being so darn good, you almost feel every crunch and gasp - sadly, Poseidon is too smart to be a shock film, and too stupid to match the classic. For all its hoopla, one kept saying, "Why was this made?" er, "Remade?" What we need a good old MGM musical rebirth to take our minds off the some of the senseless gloom and doom that is paraded before us here. Go rent Shrek 2 and order in sushi - give yourself a night of smiles.

Remember what my great granny Bessie Blunt-Berger always said , "Great special effects do not a film make sweetie. Now, pass the goulash like a good burskischnookly."

Snack recommendation: Brioski and tums…





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