Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell Jacinda Barrett, Jimmy Bennett Emmy Rossum and Richard
Directed by : Wolfgang Petersen
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.
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.
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 -
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...
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
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?
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.
girls aboard the barge, meanwhile, give good grief.
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
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."
recommendation: Brioski and tums