Poseidon (DVD, 2006, 2-Disc Set, Special Edition) Reviews

Poseidon (DVD, 2006, 2-Disc Set, Special Edition)

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Poseidon --- An Interesting Look at the Action Film Remake; With Josh Lucas

May 12, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:good cast, some good dramatic sequences and action, Josh Lucas is good

Cons:underused characters, some roles not fleshed out enough, not as good as original

The Bottom Line: Not quite as good as The Poseidon Adventure, but it is still an interesting film, that kept my attention, and got my recommendation.


If there were ever going to be an action film that was redone for a theatrical audience, I would not put The Poseidon Adventure as the most likely candidate. With a sequel that failed miserably, and a made for television movie that basically covered all the bases, it seemed odd to me that another version would make it into theaters. It does need to be said that the resent made-for-TV movie was very sub-par, but it was going to take a lot for this latest version to impress me. I am a huge fan of the Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine jaunt which had been somewhat swept under the rug over the years. Because of that fact, I wasn't thinking that I would see the newest remake of it before it eventually made it to DVD. With the chance to see it at a matinee price, and with the prospect of seeing a large number of good actors in the main roles, I ended up giving it a chance on opening night.

As the movie starts off, we get to see bits and pieces about who the main characters are going to be for the film. It is pretty easy to figure out who they will be, because most of them have some fame to their name, and those that don't have some relation to those survivors. There are a few variations to this, but when it starts out; you know who will be surviving the first action sequences. If you haven't seen any of the press for this film, or haven't seen the original, Poseidon is about a luxury cruise ship that gets struck by a rogue wave mid-voyage. This wave causes immense damage to the ship, and ends up flipping it upside down in the middle of the ocean. It doesn't sink, but rather floats there with the bottom of the ship now sticking up out of the water. The people who survive this wave are those who have been celebrating the New Year in the main ballroom of the ship. This is right about where the movie starts to get interesting.

Josh Lucas plays Dylan Johns, a single guy living the single life, and pretty much out for only himself. A quick sequence allows us to think that he is a womanizer as well, but his character isn't explored much further beyond that. When the ship flips over, he thinks it wise to make their way up through the bowels of the ship to find a way out, and not rely on the ballroom to remain intact. Overhearing him are several other people who end up taking his idea to heed, and they set off up to find a way out. In that small group are Richard Dreyfuss as Richard Nelson, and Kurt Russell as Robert Ramsey. Richard has given up on life, seemingly after losing a relationship that he held in utmost importance. It isn't clear why he decides to tag along but he does. Robert on the other hand, hopes that he will find his daughter along the way, because she was in another part of the ship when the wave hit. So off they go, despite the warnings of the ships captain who says that everyone should stay where they are.

The role of the Captain is played by one of my favorite actors: Andre Braugher. You may remember him as the "other" angel in City of Angels, or as a cop from the television show Homicide. He is a stubborn man, wanting to take control of the situation, but I don't think this script allowed him to really show what he could do with the part. In the original film, the Captain was an extremely vocal man, who would take no back-talk. It became an integral part of that storyline, where the people leaving that part of the ship were basically looked down on by the people staying behind. I would have liked to see that element played upon a little more, but instead Braugher's character is more of a push-over, to set up the people leaving as more heroic. So, the groups are split in two, with one waiting to be rescued and the second group taking matters into their own hands.

From there it becomes a series of obstacles for those who decided to leave, and it seems like it will be an impossible task for them to make it all the way through the ship. There are a lot of tense sequences which are interesting to watch, and as the movie progresses the drama builds up a little bit. Unfortunately, they don't build up the characters as much as they could have, and some of them are left with nothing but a shell. When you have "shelled characters" it is hard to care about what happens to them, and at times you might feel that during this film. What it does do a good job of, is keeping a quick pace, so that you don't have a chance to get bored. This is what will help people to enjoy this film, and in part why I was able to enjoy this rendition of Poseidon. Sure there were a lot of short-comings for this film, but knowing what you are getting into, you can't really blame the film for that. I can however complain that it wasn't as good as The Poseidon Adventure. Despite that I do recommend it if you can find a nice matinee showing, because this was a fun way to spend a couple of hours.













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