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Another remake misfires
ExpendableMan13 December 2006
It all starts off so well too. The opening shot of Wolfgang Petersen's Poseidon is beautiful. A single take that begins beneath the surface of the ocean that swings up and out of it as the underside of the ship slices through the waves, before pivoting round the colossal cruise liner and zeroing in on Josh Lucas running on the deck. With the sun setting in the distance and the immense size of the vessel itself contrasted with the deep blue of the water, this is a visually astounding entrance to a movie that is unfortunately very shallow indeed.

A remake of the classic disaster movie The Poseidon Adventure, this tells much the same story with a small group of passengers trying to escape a doomed ocean liner after it capsizes due to a freak wave. Given the beloved status of the original, besting it was going to be tricky from the start so how to do it? Bestow the characters with as much depth and humanity as possible, arrange it so that you don't want any of them to die just as the original film did? No. That isn't the 21st Century Studio Approach to blockbusters at all, the trick is explosions! Lots of explosions! And dangerous stunts that happen in very quick succession with no set up whatsoever.

As a result, things happen very quickly. We've hardly got to know anyone on the ship before the wave strikes and sends their world tumbling upside down in a hail of glass and debris. Trapped beneath the waves, there is no debate on the best means of survival but instead a bull headed rush to escape as soon as possible and before you know it, barely any time has elapsed before we have our luckless nobodies dangling from lift shafts, diving through burning oil slicks or scrambling up air vents rapidly filling with water. This could all be very entertaining if it wasn't so empty and if only they'd eased back on the throttle a little bit, we could have had a much more successful film.

Kurt Russell for instance is wasted. As an ex firefighter and former Mayor of New York with a failed marriage behind him, they could have crafted the image of a troubled man going through a midlife crisis who finds himself tested beyond his limits. Instead, the only hints at any characterisation are him protesting his daughter's cleavage bearing dress to leave no doubt that theirs is a strained relationship. Then there is Richard Dreyfuss (who has finally found a bigger boat), whose character might as well be listed in the credits as "depressed, elderly gay man." Everyone else is just as vacuous and while Josh Lucas is certainly a charismatic focal point, it cannot make up for the two dimensional stereotypes of Kevin Dillon's gambler Lucky Larry or Mike Vogel's performance as Christian, the fiancée of Russell's daughter who manages to put in perhaps the worst attempt at acting you will see in a blockbuster this year.

It does have a few commendable points though. One death scene involving a lift shaft, jagged metal spikes and an explosion is an adrenaline pumping crowd pleaser and the aforementioned scramble through the flooding ventilation shaft is really quite tense, the ensemble cast squeezed together in a claustrophobic nightmare as the water bubbles up around them. Ultimately though, it is not enough to save it. Poseidon may make for a diverting hour and a half but Hollywood needs to learn a valuable lesson about plotting: bigger explosions and insane stunts are nowhere near as impressive if we don't care about the people involved. The original version made an entire generation terrified of getting on a boat with Ernest Borgnine, this is just laughable.
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Not bad at all, there have been worse remakes....
jmupton200321 May 2007
Whilst not holding a candle to the far superior original in terms of script, plot and acting, this remake of the classic 1972 'The Poseidon Adventure' is at least watchable which is more than can be said for a lot of the seemingly endless tide of remakes hitting cinemas these days.

The characters (for want of a better word) are a bit thin and cardboard and the plot really is just a long string of reasonably predictable set pieces but at least it entertains. The best bit is the special effects which are absolutely top drawer. For some reason Hollywood can do some really good FX and CGI when it comes to boats and the CGI rendition of the Poseidon itself in the opening scene is incredibly well done.

Top marks also to the Producers for making sure the Poseidon is a proper British flagged Southampton registered ship and not some Americanised tub.

Much like its predecessor though I fully expect this version to become stable Bank Holiday afternoon television filler material for the next twenty years. Just a pity a remake of 'Beyond the Poseidon Adventure' can't be done from this.
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A 'Bad' movie can still be fun to watch
Flagrant-Baronessa3 August 2006
Especially one that sinks Titanic in special effects...

This is a remake of The Poseidon Adventure (1972). Before you jump on the bandwagon and start bashing it on this basis alone, keep it mind that the original film was not exactly a masterpiece. It was a film that sacrificed scientific reality to propel an inane plot, filled with one-dimensional characters and compensated for it with action-overload. Poseidon is exactly the same -- ridiculous plot, intrepid characters and big slice of adventure. What is different in this version is the masterful CGI. This is a perfect time to remake a film like this (much better than in 1972) -- just go overboard with special effects and no one will notice the flawed writing (which is basically a sketchbook mess).

This is the reason Poseidon does not fail in entertaining the audience. I'll admit that I was skeptical when Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas appeared in all her plastic surgery glory and Josh Lucas spouted out some cheeseball line ("Where is the disco?" "Why, you feel like dancing now?"), but I set its cringeworthy dialogue aside early on and focused my energy on not wanting to kill Fergie. The giant tidal wave capsizing the luxury liner Poseidon would take care of that, leaving only a small group of people fighting to reach the top and get out.

Another thing, besides special effects, that is by far better in this version is that the characters are actually interested in surviving and do not stop every few minutes for a petty argument as in The Poseidon Adventure (1972). Make no mistake however, these characters are still dumb to the core, getting by on lucky circumstances, occasional heroic feats and conveniently appearing objects and hatches – you've seen it all before, but damn, this is sensationally quality action.

Overall, Poseidon is bathed in a militantly hectic mood and is as fast-paced as any action film you'll see. It features mind-numbing special effects, overdoses of excitement and just typical Wolfgang Peterson overkill. It definitely won't disappoint you if you're looking for cheap but solid adrenaline kicks. I'd even happily sit through this experience again.

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This ship has sailed ... and sunk ...
majikstl14 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In the original POSEIDON ADVENTURE, the venerable SS Poseidon was on its last voyage, even before it had a wave of bad luck. Headed to port to be turned to scrap, the aging luxury liner was comfortably aged and loaded down with a bunch of amiable B-list movie stars playing rather endearingly ordinary people. POSEIDON, the remake, is apparently far from being on its last leg; sparkling new and lavishly decorated in nondescript, tasteless elegance, it is carrying a passenger list of dubious VIPs, who don't even have enough dimension to be clichés and are played by actors, who, though competent, would barely even rate being on the B-list.

But it does seem to have a healthy cargo of things that blow up. Indeed, it seems that more of the unfortunate victims of this seagoing disaster meet fiery deaths than watery ones -- explosions being far more photogenic than the inability to hold ones breath for very long.

POSEIDON the new movie is very much like Poseidon the new ship: cold, efficient, impersonal and doomed to sink like a rock. The most remarkable thing about this SS Poseidon is that it has a huge bridge full of technicians and flashing electronic gizmos, yet the 150-foot tidal wave that flips the boat sneaks up on everyone without warning. Apparently the wave spotting equipment they use is from the same company that created iceberg detecting equipment for the Titanic. Indeed, the first person to spot the tidal wave is a passenger played by a strangely subdued Richard Dreyfuss, whose impromptu suicide attempt is rudely interrupted.

The movie itself is pretty much an empty vessel, though it is certainly a product of its time. Trivial concerns such as story and character are jettisoned in favor of elaborate and expensive sets and CGI special effects. Indeed, the imagery of the new POSEIDON is most impressive and outshines the then-cutting edge productions values of the 1972 original. Yet, it isn't nearly as effective in any regard. The original film had its ragtag band of survivalists interacting with their topsy-turvy environment, where this time the stunts and sets and CGI simply overwhelm everything and everybody. Like so many CGI blockbusters, human interaction is merely a bothersome detail; the real focus being on the violent extermination of masses of nameless, faceless victims. And once again, Hollywood has mistaken technological gimmickry for storytelling skill.

When the film does try to escape from tired predictability it bites off far more than it can chew. At one point a main character is compelled to kill another character in order to save himself, yet this intense and perverse moment early in the film is never dealt with again. The surviving character must neither redeem himself or face karmic punishment for his act. The secondary character is just killed and forgotten -- presumably because the character and the actor playing the part weren't important enough to care about. After that, it is hard to care about the fate of anyone else. The film has no sense of humanity, let alone a sense of humor about the absurdity of the entire premise.

The cast, not unduly burdened with characters to play or chances to actually act, run the obstacle course with dogged professionalism. Kurt Russell is no Gene Hackman, but he is in the unfortunate position of being too good of an actor for this type of film, yet not big enough of a star to actually carry it. Young Jimmy Bennet is perfectly convincing as a terrified child and Josh Lucas has an impressive underbite perfectly suited for jutting out his chin in fierce determination. Other than that, the cast is unremarkable, sadly lacking even any Carol Lynleys or Pamela Sue Martins, let alone such wonderfully hammy pros like Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Ernest Borgnine or the inimitable Shelley Winters. None of the characters/actors stand out enough to be sympathetic, endearing or even memorable. Indeed, the three female leads -- Jacinda Barrett, Emmy Rossum and Mía Maestro -- are so interchangeable that it is hard to tell their characters apart.

I suppose that the filmmakers wanted this to be like the remake of KING KONG, an eye-popping, special effects reinvention of a well-worn story. But, instead, POSEIDON ends up being like the woefully unnecessary remake of PSYCHO: there was no need, demand or purpose for this film to exist and the filmmakers reveal they have no apparent clue as to why the original is loved in the first place. That's what happens when you set sail without a compass; you just get lost at sea.
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It was the errors that really bothered me
doughelo15 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The worst error concerned the bow thruster at the end.

  • Why was it still running? Almost all other electrical power was out, and a bow thruster would not be on an emergency circuit.

  • When Richard Dreyfuss opens the hatch into the bow thruster shaft, a hurricane force of wind blows into the room. Ship propellers are slow-turning compared to aircraft propellers (so as to avoid cavitation) and are not going to move large quantities of air - hardly any, in fact, as they're not shaped to move low density air.

  • There seemed to be a propeller on either side of the shaft. For air to blow inward, both props would have to be pulling air towards each other. The idea in a bow thruster is to pull water in one end and out the other.

  • Nobody would build an inward-opening hatch below the waterline.

Also, it seemed that from the ballast tank (by definition and appearance at the bottom of the ship) they seemed to travel UP a few levels, thus in reality placing them above the bottom of the ship.

I found it a bit hard to believe the Captain could have convinced anyone to stay in an underwater room with giant windows showing the ocean behind the glass.
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ster200113 May 2006
Hollywood you better get your act together. Thanks you for spitting out another INSTANTLY forgettable "Blockbuster" Thank God I only paid $4 dollars to see this. Not only can't the Studios come up with original material. The material they remake is worse than the original. If this crap keeps up you will have even less of an audience. A good cast given nothing to chew on and a Director who has made great films and this is what we get? 150 million and the Ballroom set in the original was more impressive?

Video games are so prevalent in society that I fear their mind numbing influence is starting to permeate even NON video game derived movies. The original movie was a good solid, involving movie. This remake takes every element of the original and removes what made it involving. I mean EVERY element. There are people out there making these decisions!! And they are paid huge sums to make these decisions! With the talent in front of and behind the camera this is truly frightening as this seems to be the norm at the present.

Right from the start there is almost NO set up. We don't know where the ship is, where it is sailing, even what ocean it's on! Things that actually would create some atmosphere like the originals speech by the Captain explaining the origin of Poseidon. Greek God of the Sea. They are sailing on the Mediterranean, to Greece? Get it? Cheesy but involving. You know it gives the proceedings some gravatis, some mystery. In the remake we get nothing, we are are in Video game land, we don't have time for such things.

Even the cause for the disaster has absolutely no set up. Happy new year, bang, the tidal wave hits. Unlike the originals slow build up, as it explained WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND WHY! Even the effects in the original worked better. They were simpler but executed as a whole created more of an impact because of the tension that was built up. Again a sense of gravity, HUMAN INVOLVEMENT and Atmosphere! Even in the original, Leslie Nielsen's corny grimace as the wave engulfs the ship. It's goofy but you REMEMBER IT. You know a character we identify with reacting to the impending disaster. It's a very basic cinematic technique. But I guess todays more "sophisticated" audience don't need this kind of thing anymore.

There is no human involvement in the wave hitting in this remake. The Captain isn't called to the bridge, no build up, just some crew members we've had no contact with running around. Absolutely unmemorable. The effects are impressive but who cares, I'm not given anything to latch on to.

Straight across the board EVERY situation is diminished from the original. The scene chewing conflict between Gene Hackaman and Ernest Borgnine is totally lost in the remake. There is NO conflict with the characters. NONE! It's just one disaster to overcome to the next. You know , like a VIDEO GAME.

Even the self sacrificing Shelly Winters death swim has almost no emotional impact because the character doesn't return and die in front of everybody. Like DUH! Hey screen writers perhaps you should learn of something called ELEMENTS OF DRAMA!! Even if you have no talent you could at least COPY the original, not make it worse! Absolutely mind boggling!! If you WANTED to sabotage the original you couldn't have done a better job. UNREAL! All you film lovers just keep repeating "Things will get better" Repeat it like a prayer.
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The movie is a cliché from start to end
icanfly776 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Warning This contains spoilers:

This movie was cheese from beginning to end.

You know when you see those specials about Rules for Disaster Movies and how they all follow certain rules..

I think this one followed every rule in the book.

Characters were one dimensional, they were clichéd - You have someone who is afraid of small spaces and they are going to have to face their fear to survive.

You have the single mom and her son which is a pain in the a$$ kid who goes missing - twice

You have the one that ones to be the leader of the group who funnily enough at the start wants to go it alone

You have the father / daughter where the father doesn't trust the daughter and the daughter is trying to be her own woman and in the end the father ends up giving his life up so her daughter can be happy and be with her new fiancé - Where have I seen this before?? Oh thats right - Armageddon.

You have the annoying drunk which ends you are supposed to hate so they die so that seems like a just death.

Anyways, so the characters are clichéd and so are the circumstances, this movie could have been better if it had more special effects but it only have a small wave.

I thought this kind of movie which was clichéd went out in the 70's and 80's, at least disaster movies these days if they follow the clichés do it subtlety, and it also has good special effects to help keep it afloat, this movie was so obvious in its clichés.

Also did I miss something - as where did they get the lifeboat and flare gun from in the end?

Also some more convenient circumstances - 1) guy goes down to reverse the engines so they can all live and cant find the button is just about to die and with his last dying breath finds and presses the button

2) they all escape the ship just as it goes down

3) two helicopters appear moments after firing off a flare gun

and hows some of the dialogue.. I think it was Richard Dreyfuss who says I'm an architect so I know ships aren't designed to stay afloat upside down.. Since when does it require to be an architect to work this out??

This movie was a shame and feels like it jumped right out of the 70's disaster era. This is one of the worst movies I have seen
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Some gripping scenes and effects can't quite overcome a weak script and dull characters
christian12319 May 2006
On New Year's Eve, the luxury cruise ship Poseidon is hit by an enormous wave that flips it upside-down stranding thousands of passengers underwater. A group of passengers join together to try to escape the ship.

The original Poseidon was decent disaster film. It had engaging characters, decent special effects and a cheesy storyline. The remake is more or less the same minus the interesting characters, charm and suspense. Okay, the remake did have a few suspenseful scenes though nothing very memorable or original. The reason why the film wasn't very suspenseful was because the characters were all one dimensional and dull. There was no character development at all so it was hard to care for these people. While watching the movie, it's just easier to refer to them as generic titles like "the old guy" or something. Actually, if you use this method then you can probably figure out who will die and in what order they will die.

The acting is very weak and unconvincing. Josh Lucas is an okay actor but he wasn't very good here. He just didn't make a good hero nor was his character very likable. Kurt Russell was okay, nothing special. Emmy Rossum was terrible as Jennifer. Her performance felt so forced and over the top. The way she expressed her emotions just looked so fake and unconvincing. Jimmy Bennett was just annoying as Conor. Richard Dreyfuss was very misused and his character seemed out of place. Jacinda Barrett gives a laughable performance, it was just very poor. I should warn you (or comfort you?) that Stacy Ferguson from the Black Eyed peas is only in the movie for about 10 minutes, maybe a little less.

When judged as a disaster film, Poseidon is actually pretty decent. The special effects were great though 160 million was obviously just a bit too much. Wolfgang Petersen is really good at making a film appear stylish including the ship which looked amazing. His storytelling skills aren't as good though. The combination of a weak script didn't help matters either. The movie was just too corny at times for my taste. For example, there was once scene where Josh Lucas was planning to escape the ballroom and one by one, the rest of the characters just come up and ask to come along. It was just a bit too obvious and they should have handled it differently. I also thought it was kind of dumb that all the characters were able to hold their breath underwater for large amounts of time. Despite these flaws, there were a few engaging scenes and some touching moments. Also, the movie is pretty short so it's not really too much of a pain to sit through. This helped the experience a little though I wouldn't have minded a longer movie. In the end, Poseidon may not be worth checking out in theaters but it should make for a decent rental. Rating 6/10
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Not a Remake...
dane53412 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
It is important to point out that this new film is only based on THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE ... it is not a remake. When a passenger ship (named Poseidon) is hit by a large wave on New Years Eve and capsizes, a handful of people struggle to escape. Other than that, do not expect any similarities -- not one character, not one line of dialog, not one scene...

I first saw the original film when I was ten years old and have been a huge fan ever since. Surely TPA (as imperfect as it may be), was the catalyst that spurred my interest in ocean liners, architecture, classical music ... and Art Deco design. Therefore, I was excited about the latest film -- and pleased that it had been given to a talented director. I knew that the film and its characters had been changed/updated and was cool with that. But after viewing the new film twice now, I feel a bit let down.

I don't want to touch on the stale characters. Although it is a major flaw, that subject has already been addressed again and again on this board.

The cast (with the exception of Dreyfuss) are ALL buff and beautiful -- no fatties or uglies here. Of course, some of the physical obstacles in this film would require the endurance of a champion athlete and the bravado of a Schwarzenegger action hero! This is definitely not the motley group of survivors found in the original.

The CGI graphics were very good. The ship was beautiful in a glitzy Las Vegas sort of way ... but the Poseidon never seemed very "real" to me. Perhaps it was all those overly elaborate CGI camera shots? Not really sure why. The Titanic certainly seemed "real" in TITANIC. But for me, the Poseidon seemed as plastic as the people on it.

The capsizing sequence was stunning, but so many areas of the ship were highlighted in such a short time that I never really felt I was part of the action. There were no screaming passengers clinging/falling from overturned tables. No man falling backwards onto an illuminated skylight (a famous cinematic scene). And no Christmas tree!?! The Christmas tree played a pivotal role in the original film ... from passengers falling into it during the capsizing ... to it unexpectedly crashing down ... to the survivors climbing it (and Mrs. Rosen getting stuck in the spokes) ... to it falling back into the flooding Dining Room when panic ensues! Why leave it out entirely when there are so many cinematic possibilities? Instead the characters in the new film "sneak out" of the Ballroom using some stacked chairs. There is absolutely no plea for others to join them even though they know that anyone left behind may die. I suppose it says something about today's society ... "I'm getting out of here -- to hell with everyone else!". But these guys are supposed to be the heroes in the film?

Don't expect much humor in this film either. I really missed the funny scene with the upside-down bathroom set. I can't imagine not working that into the new movie! But these new action-survivors don't seem to require toilets ... or rest. They keep going and going -- through one unrealistic scenario one after another!

It was strange that the survivors find heaps of dead bodies everywhere they go, but never any other survivors. A ship this size would be expected to have over 4000 people on-board. Where are they? When our survivors merge in the Nightclub/Disco, they then struggle to find an escape route. So where did the 200-300 other people who left the room moments earlier go? And why can't our survivors seem to find a staircase/elevator core on this ship? Every modern passenger ship has several -- found every 200-feet or so. There is always one adjacent to the atrium (in addition to the grand stairway and glass elevators). Perhaps all the other people immediately ran up one of the usually ever-present staircases and escaped out a porthole hours earlier? That would certainly explain the absence of other people...

I must admit that I missed John William's music from the original. I wonder why he wasn't hired to update his existing TPA score -- dramatic in all the right places and the deep "bell" sound accompanying the music is indeed haunting. And wouldn't it be fun for all us old-timers if they had used "The Morning After" (Academy Award-winning song from the original) and updated it in the new film?

As fun as the original film may have been, I know that it is flawed, so some rewriting would be expected. And the producers obviously felt the need to update the original film to appeal to modern movie (and cruising) audiences. But this new version seems soulless. I feel that they may have been better off setting the film in 1972 and using the original campy script! That wonderful, but cheesy, dialog ran the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime! Some of the quotes are classics! The new film's dialog is completely forgettable.

I suppose that this new film is fine if you are not expecting much. I was obviously hoping that Petersen would turn the original film into another TITANIC. But this POSEIDON is what it is ... a mindless summer action movie with dazzling special effects. Should appeal to teenagers. Though it is doubtful that this new film will inspire many youths or ever become a cult classic. And decades from now, will it have web pages, fan clubs and conventions devoted to it?

Actually, I'm guessing that by this time next year, this POSEIDON will be largely forgotten ... as it should be.
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Not a total disaster.
BA_Harrison16 June 2007
Watch carefully... immediately after the luxury liner Poseidon has been hit by a huge tidal wave and capsized, an inflated life-raft can be seen inexplicably floating by the upturned vessel. Surely the makers of this slick big-budget disaster flick won't bring this conveniently into play at the end of the film, will they? Well, yes, they do. And this is the problem with Poseidon: throughout the film, the audience is expected to accept far too much without question.

When the survivors of the accident, on their way to the surface, face a flooded compartment, they swim underwater aimlessly until they happen upon a pocket of air. Convenient, huh?

When they are trapped in a rapidly flooding air conditioning shaft and need to undo some screws in order to escape drowning, a necklace makes a handy screwdriver. How fortunate is that?

When the only escape route is totally flooded, the ship shifts and the passageway becomes clear. What a stroke of luck!

Now don't get me wrong; I didn't hate Poseidon. In fact, I actually enjoyed Wolfgang Pieterson's update of the 70s classic quite a bit. I just had to completely suspend my belief for an hour and a half in order to do so. Sure, the film is cheesy, full of one-dimensional characters, has a flawed script, and lacks a soul, but it is spectacular, has more than its fair share of white-knuckle moments, and features some superb visual effects.

Let's face it, this remake was never going to outdo the original (and did anyone really think it would?), which benefited from REAL star power and a decent script. But as far as dumb popcorn adventures go, Poseidon is worth a watch—if only for the amazing moment when the wave strikes the ship and all hell breaks loose.
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This sucked, and not in a good way
wordsmithtim1 September 2006
OK, I kind of see the necessity the filmmakers behind Poseidon felt in remaking the 1972 disaster classic, The Poseidon Adventure; what with the state of the art special effects advances that have transpired in the last thirty four years. With that said, there's no amount of wizardry that can hold a candle to the effect that was Shelly Winters chutzpah as Mrs. Rosen in the original. I could do a laundry list of reasons why the original cast of survivors - Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Stella Stevens, Pammy Sue Martin and even Carol Lynley - blow the new cast including Kurt Russell, bargain basement Matthew McConaughey Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfus as a despondent gay man who can get cell phone reception at sea, Emmy Rossum and Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas (going by her Kids Incorporated given name of Stacy Ferguson) out of the water. But that would involve giving a lick about any of the characters, which I didn't. And, the reason they leave us high and dry is because the characterizations are about as subtle as the wave that capsizes the boat: I'm rebellious, I'm suave, I'm a single mom, etc. might as well be tattooed on everyone's foreheads, and not even for clarity's sake- just so that the actor's could remember who they are playing, because the audience certainly won't. There is no character development whatsoever, which makes an audience disengaged and not want to root for these people. I wished the wave that capsizes the boat had left nary a survivor, which transpires fifteen minutes into this disaster of a flick. At the twenty five minute mark, a man (the captain, I think, but who knows in this movie) announces to the passengers that they have most likely been struck by a "rogue wave," which can be "dangerous." Really? Is that why they are standing on what used to be the ceiling? At that point I turned off the movie in disgust, feeling cheapened that I had cheated on the original, one of my all time favorite movies. Chalk it up to if it ain't broke, don't fix it! That's twenty five minutes I'll never get back, I could have gotten an early start on my income taxes, or been partway through a root canal in the time it took me to realize I had chosen unwisely.
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Yes, no character development,good action, but ending spoiled it for me.
brubry13 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I read a common thread in most of the previous reviews: No character development. And that is true. But in a movie like this, we get what we deserve. I think technology is great, but it also has it's downside. It has created a generation of impatient people with very short attention spans. Back when the original Posiedon movie was shown, there was no internet, no one had home computers, no cells phones and no cells phones to surf the net with. Talk about impatience, can't we wait to get home to surf the net. I just think that the director knew today's audience that would go to see this movie did not have the patience to sit through any character development and got to the action as quickly as he could. We reap what we sow.

The special effects were good and most of the action scenes were "on the edge of your seat" intense.

The thing that really spoiled the movie for me was the ending. ***HERE'S THE SPOILER****. Wasn't it convenient that a life raft with a flare gun was waiting for the survivors as they jumped out of the ship. Am I the only one who thought this to be totally absurd and cliché.
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Give this film a chance to shine
evansj221 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This film has such a bad name from so many people, yet I think it is a brilliant film. Some people don't realise how much effort has gone into this film. People say that everything is CGI. Not true. The only things that are CGI in the whole film are: the ship, the wave. That's it. Everything else is sets. People actually were thrown around the place. Water did come in to the ballroom. I think some people don't give this film enough credit. The first time I watched it, I was in awe. It was such a convincing film. The look of the ship and how it interacted with light made it look so real. Sure, some of the film is far-fetched. And sure, you don't get to know the people on board. But that is because of the pace. They can't stand there for half-an-hour, spewing their guts out about themselves when the ship is sinking. The pace of the film is supposed to be rushed. The ship is sinking, and it's not going to stop sinking to let the people stop for a break. So I say give the film a break. If you haven't seen it and are judging it on what your friends/ family have said, ignore them. Watch it for yourself, you may find the film is actually better than what others say. And as said in the title, give this film a chance to shine, it's better than what people say
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I was expecting better from WP
Tim-13013 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Can I get a job as a screenwriter? You obviously don't need any experience. In fact the dialogue was probably just thrown in to waste paper. Were there any technical advisors on the crew? I mean besides the chimps behind the typewriters. The actual wave sequence was decent, but a little underdone, (except for those is the flash fire sequences, they were well done). I kept expecting it to get better, but it never did; in fact it got worse. Can I ask just how Kurt Russell knew exactly where the controls for the engines were? About 150 yards down this corridor, under water! Seems like most ship movies I've seen there are a full set of controls in the engine room. Why would the motors be running anyway? How could the tanks fill so rapidly if they were upside down? And do workers normally go into these huge tanks to turn the pumps on? Yes the deeper they got, they deeper my heart sank. How come the boyfriend show absolutely no signs of injury 10 minutes after being freed from the lighting rig? Dreyfuss should have been dead after getting hit by that door. Was there a Christmas tree? Seems to me that there should have been one. I guess pc has struck the luxury cruise lines too. I guess I'm getting old.
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Flush This Drowned Rat of a Movie
cajun_lgb26 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
If only negative scores were possible. This was truly the worst movie I saw last year.

I WANT THE NINETY MINUTES OF MY LIFE THIS PIECE OF RAW SEWAGE STOLE FROM ME. Wolfgang Petersen, you should have to turn in your DGA card for this. A putrid remake of a movie that was only fair to begin with.... That takes chutzpah.

A quick synopsis of the plot, such as it is: A badly-rendered CGI big boat, full of badly-rendered character types played by current B- and D-list performers (Josh Lucas, Emmy Rossum, Kevin Dillon) as well as former A-listers who need to fire their current agents (Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss), gets knocked upside-down by an equally badly-rendered CGI wave fifteen minutes into the first reel, before we get any real reason to care about anyone in the cast, but not before we're subjected to Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas "singing". Twenty seconds into that song (someone obviously thought it would be a sure-fire hit) and you're rooting for the wave to just sink the boat and put her out of our misery.

But no; a ragtag group of survivors led by Russell (ex-NYC mayor, formerly a firefighter-- how lucky is that?!?) and Lucas (ex-Navy diver-- how lucky is that?!?) start making their grim way to the now-exposed to air hull, before the ship takes on enough water that it sinks blah blah blah. The blatant sops to the right-wingers in the crowd made me throw up in my mouth several times; note that the "girls" and the "sissy" are really no help (you gotta have a He-man firefighter or ex-military guy to get you out of these scrapes!), and how about that lucky crucifix that doubles as a flat-blade screwdriver and air vent remover ("Thank you Jeey-sus for the $8.95 someone spent at a swap meet for you!!")? And we still have to wait an hour before Petersen remembers to kill off Fergie. Don't think we forgot about her, Wolfie. We were patient far too long.

Thankfully I didn't spend a dime to see this piece of junk. I watched every minute of it, getting angrier and angrier at the sheer contempt in which the makers obviously hold the viewing public, and couldn't hit the "Erase" button on my DVR fast enough after. Simply horrible.
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The Hollywood imagination
chopendoz3 June 2006
This movie epitomizes what is wrong with Hollywood today. Because they lack imagination, the major film studios either copy an idea from a foreign film (Japanese, French, English, especially) or make a sequel or remake of an an existing moneymaker and milk it to death. Where are the original ideas? The Hollywood movie industry (and most of American TV for that matter) has become far too idealistic in my view. The characters are depicted as, not how people really are, but how we would like them to be, and the viewers often emulate what they see on screen as if life actually IS like that. Why should it be all about the 'bottom line'. Out of the top 10 top grossing movies each year, how many actually make a profit? It seems to be a matter of just churning out this sort of garbage and hoping for the best. Why don't the major studios spend the same amount of money making fewer but better films? One wonders sometimes how people are convinced into investing good money in making this rubbish. Poseidon? So far this 'blockbuster' has grossed $50 million – a long way from the $140 million it cost to make. Chances are it won't even break even. It becomes very obvious right from the start that it is formulaic and clichéd. For example, why anyone in their right mind would take a woman and her young son along with the exploring party is anyone's guess. Probably because they prove useful along the way. The Hispanic busboy (Valentine) who tags along was the obvious candidate to die being a nonentity, an unknown actor. It's all squarely aimed at the 'demographic' – the 13-30 group. That's why there is always a child involved in the story, why most of the characters are 30 years old – and good looking. That's why we have a politically correct cast with a black captain, Hispanic entertainers, etc. There is a always a love interest to attract the female segment of the audience and there is always a happy ending one way or another. We have the usual combination of 'B' list actors and those desperate for work, who go through the motions of what passes for acting these days. 'Stand on your mark and say your line when it's your turn'. Don't the directors realize that when people talk to one another, they often interrupt one another? Robert Altman knows this but few others. The special effects are good but with a few too many quick camera movements that are hard on the eye after a while. After only a few minutes I realized that I had seen this movie before in all its forms. Even though the backdrop changes, the character development is always the same. The guy who cares only for himself discovers that he has some redeeming features, The hero will do heroic things and maybe make the supreme sacrifice to save others. Father and son/daughter will reconcile their differences, the coward becomes brave, etc.etc. I've seen it all before.
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KillerCadugen15 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If you watched this movie while half asleep, it would appear to be a thrilling adventure movie. But if you are too focused, the numerous flaws and problems with the script become readily apparent. This is the story of a luxury cruise ship capsized by a gigantic rogue wave and thus begins a fight for survival as a small band of people try to climb "up" to the bottom of the ship to escape before the whole thing sinks. Typical Hollywood blockbuster fare, but the problems begin right away when the script telegraphs who is going to die and then contrives rescue situations (come on - a little boy is going to wander away on a capsized ship? And then get stuck inside a metal cage? While the water is quickly rising? Jeepers!). The Kurt Russell character then has to become a hero by swimming 150 feet (or was it yards) on one breath to turn off the ship propellers, an operation he would not be able to do if the ship was upright, everything was dry, and he had all the time in the world. But, lucky for him, it was so simply marked. And then, as the group is running out of time, the seams of the ship burst and water begins shooting through the bulkhead ... even though that portion of the ship is ABOVE the water level and, even if it were submerged, pressure would be high enough to burst bulkhead seams designed to be hundreds of feet underwater. This whole movie left me feeling like I got ripped off. Pick up the original and watch that instead. Watching this would be a big mistake.
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Who will Survive? NOT the audience!
Charly-2515 May 2006
Paul Gallico's novel, published in 1969, is not so much a disaster novel, as it is a grim character study of people caught up in a disaster. The book is gripping in it's savage brutality. The character's are stripped of all pretensions, and self delusions. They reveal more and more of their inner selves as they climbed further and further into the ship.

The 1972 film only hinted at this. The Hallmark TV film, only had conventional characters who reacted in conventional and unsurprising ways to the various challenges.

Now, Wolfgang Peterson has stripped the story of all humanity and created what amounts to a two hour film in which the audience watches a very large kinetic sculpture designed to destroy itself. The actors seem to be more like cogs and wheels in that sculpture than human beings. There is no character development and no plot.

Yes, the special effects are fantastic, especially as the wave strikes and capsizes the ship. The sets are stunning but sterile, and the action is absolutely nonstop. And THAT is all the film has going for it. Peterson seems to be catering to those with minds only developed enough to pay attention to movement and pretty lights, like a small baby watching a mobile hung over its crib.

Many of the actors are quite good. We know that because of their past bodies of work. Unfortunately, in this film they may as well have had animated wax figures playing their roles. True, the Irwin Allen film had a number of overblown and hammy performances, but those actors at least had something to bite into. A lobotomized Frances Farmer would have been able to handle these empty insignificant characters.

In interviews, Richard Dreyfuss commented that he did this film for money. I certainly understand that! He definitely didn't do it because it was a great part. He played a gay man, suicidal and depressed because his lover has left him. Unfortunately his being gay seemed rather gratuitous. Publicity for the film stated that he suddenly discovers he very much wants to live. This also seemed gratuitous.

Kurt Russell plays the role of a former NYC firefighter and mayor and seems to have fallen into the real life role of aging action hero making way for younger action hero.

Kevin Dylan plays a character named Lucky Larry, who seemed obviously patterned after computer game icon Leisure Suit Larry. His character would have been quite enjoyable had he not been so reprehensible.

As far as the rest of the cast went, you may as well have taken them like so many Barbie and Ken dolls, popped off their heads and interchanged them.

The costumes were pretty much what you might expect to see aboard ship on New Year's Eve, but nothing strikingly great. The only one that stood out was the singer (who I understand is a member of The Black-eyed Peas). It was so awful, I mistook her for a Charo impersonator. But at least it stood out.

One thing I must give the filmmakers an A+ on. The underwater shots of the ship were extraordinarily impressive. The attention to detail with all the debris and parts of the ship breaking away seemed very realistic. I do have a final question, however (and a nit-picky one at that). Do they no longer bolt down tables and other large furniture aboard luxury liners?
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It is like 'Titanic' meets 'The Towering Inferno'
Movieguy_blogs_com10 May 2006
In 'Poseidon' Josh Lucas plays Dylan Johns, a professional gambler. When a freak 'rogue wave' incident causes the Poseidon cruise ship to capsize, Dylan has gamble for his life. Deciding not to listen to the captain (Andre Braugher), Dylan tries leads a group of passengers (Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, etc.) to safety.

This is a modern remake of the 1972 'The Poseidon Adventure'. I do not remember the original, but I think this one live up to its name. It is like 'Titanic' meets 'The Towering Inferno'. There is a lot of intense action that keeps one on the edge of their seat.

There is not much drama and I do not think it will add too much to the original story. I also noticed that the movie is just over an hour and a half, it is not very long. However, I think audiences will enjoy the intensity of this film.
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Drowned Turkey
robertconnor2 April 2007
When a tsunami capsizes a luxury liner, a small band of supposedly disparate passengers struggle to survive...

Horrible remake of the 1972 classic, complete with interchangeable young brunette women, bland heroes (and heroics), annoying child and VERY little else. The script is beyond bad - this viewer felt sorry for the actors having to spout such crappy lines, and the casting choices are quite shocking, with utterly forgettable female characters and only Dreyfuss (hopefully being paid squillions for this garbage) offering a smidgeon of characterisation. It actually made me feel nostalgic for the tawdry 2005 TV remake... a repellent damp squib if ever there was one. AVOID!
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This film definitely capsizes!
moviedude-7211 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The reason I saw this film was because I've been a fan of the novel by Paul Gallico and the original classic for sometime now. I had high hopes for the film, and they weren't met. Poseidon is an especially unnecessary remake. As happens so often with remakes, the re-makers squander the original's appeal, as if they have no idea why 1972's The Poseidon Adventure was a hit. Video games must have influenced the film, too. As an intrepid group of characters make their way through the bowels of an overturned ocean liner, they're tested by one chamber of death after another.

Knowing so little about Poseidon's characters, it's difficult to care about their fates. On the contrary, characters in The Poseidon Adventure are practically members of the family. The acting wasn't anything special, and most of them where B-list celebrities who where trying to get noticed by the public, to re-establish their careers.

Overall, this film wasn't anything above average. And will never be anything compared to the 1972 classic. Don't waste your time on this one, it isn't worth it.


See It If You Liked: The Poseidon Adventure and Titanic

-Luke Rowe
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mean spirited Poseidon loses the "adventure."
Aronnax13 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
An epic letdown from Wolfgang Peterson. The original film was always good entertainment, but comparing the two versions makes the original look like Citizen Kane! It's like Wolfgang took everything that was good about the original and threw it away. Ronald Neame? Never realized what a great director he was (DeMille Jr!) until I saw this remake. Just compare the way he staged the big scenes, framed the action with a sense of scope, gave his actors real characters to play and used sets, lighting, music and pacing to really pull you into the "adventure." The original is always knocked for its "cardboard" characters and lame dialogue. But at least it had a "theme." It was about something. It was "if you want to survive then start climbing. don't sit around and wait for help to arrive. Religion won't save you, the government won't save you (don't forget this was Watergate era.) Only you and your own hard work will save you." It seemed like everything was shot too close. there was no scope or sense of epic-ness. was this to save money so they didn't have to build big sets? It felt like this film was edited with a hack saw that took away all suspense. All of a sudden a wave comes and it turns over. This modern ship didn't have any kind of warning system that would warn of a "wall of water 90 feet high"?? Did I blink and miss the scene where the wave shows up on the radar? Thank goodness there was an officer on the bridge who could "sense" the oncoming tidal wave. Gimme a break.

where was the Christmas tree? In the original you could feel that it was Christmas/New Years. Decorations, baby! In this remake they simply decide to follow Josh Lucas up some wreckage. No drama at all! what about all of Richard Dreyfuss' gay buddies? He did't even try to find them! The fx were very cheesy digital. I saw it in IMAX so maybe that's why. Was it my imagination, or did the first trailer have more of the ship turning over?Terrible action music! Didn't they learn anything from John Williams' moody original? But the thing that killed this for me was how mean spirited and gory it was. My 12 year old daughter kept turning away. I saw the original when I was 10 and one burned chef in the kitchen was really heartbreaking. But now people are bar b cued in flash fires or electrocuted in nightclubs with no feeling. when Lucas tells Dreyfus to deliberately drop the waiter in order to save himself, then Drefus kicks the poor guy to his death -- you could really feel the audience detach. Too cruel to be called "entertainment." Save your money. Or better yet, rent Beyond the Poseidon Adventure and watch it on fast forward and you'll get a sense of this loser.
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A very bad movie
mltfin11 December 2006
Simply horrible! I don't even know where to start. The story was weak, a very basic "problem after a problem adventure movie". I did not get any feel for the characters in the movie and all the dialogs were out of place and clichéd.

The effects were OK but I have to wonder what's with the explosions, why does every movie have to have thousands of things exploding and a wall of fire closing down from behind. This movie is another good example that you cant make a movie based on effects, you kinda need a story as well.

I cant think of anything good about this movie and so cant recommend this movie to anyone.
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A disaster (of a) film!
mvidac1 February 2007
99 minutes of my life I'll never get back ...

Hey Hollywood ... how 'bout I just bend over next time?

Wow! Where to begin? What a pathetic excuse for a movie! I just read through about 12 of the pages and it's comforting to know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Though I am worried about the very few who raved about it — especially the guy (see page 15) who had seen it 3 times and was going back for a 4th ... a 4th!!! Let's see ... 396 minutes of this joker's life given to this movie (that's 6.6 hours to you and me, Russ) not to mention the money. Are you kidding? Did you just receive the gift of sight after a life of blindness? Were you raised by apes in the jungle? Wolves in the forest? Don't have movies on your planet? What could it be?

First of all, why, why, why remake this? Laziness? Apathy? Maybe it was a dare. Whatever you do, DON'T bother to create characters and write a script! What a waste of budget that would be. Please spend it on obviously overdone CGI! What a miserable cast! I honestly didn't care if one single person made it out alive! In fact, I was rooting for Josh Lucas' overdone jaded gambler to bite it every step of the way! Note to Mr. Lucas: Matthew McConaughey called and he wants you to stop trying to be him!

The only character I had one iota of concern for was Valentin (Freddy Rodriguez) who is promptly killed by Richard Dreyfous to save himself — just moments after having one leg over the railing in an 'I'm-despondent-because-my-lover-left-me' sulk. Wait! Maybe he was just disgusted that Fergie was the musical act of the evening! Come to think of it I might have sought other options myself ...

So, you've got this meager cast of characters who you know only enough of not to like. Kurt Russell's character's daughter is a spoiled brat who immediately let's you know she will not be 'patronized' and had a miserable childhood with a father who was mayor of New York. Pity. Nope. Don't care if she or her fiancé make it — especially after the straight-from- daytime-soaps scene in the end! "I need you to tell me you love me," he says as he dawdles so long before diving down to go turn off the propellers (they're only hope at this point) that Kurt Russell gets tired of waiting and sacrifices himself! Perhaps it was the bad acting that made him take the plunge. Who knows?

Then there was the kid with the bad haircut and the tendency to wander off. *Sigh* I won't even go there.

Within minutes the ship hits the wave and flips all with absolutely no warning yet the bridge is loaded with the most modern system out there. All we get is a 'did you feel that?' and then confirmation via binoculars that sure enough, death approaches in the form of an unannounced 'rouge wave!' Sound the alarm!

Now we're upside down. The special effects were decent and it was exciting but it's over in seconds. When the dust settles we're left with a ballroom with chandeliers on the floor, bodies and debris everywhere but something's missing ... what could it be ... Oh!!! The Christmas TREE!!! The enormous tree that was conveniently bolted to the ground hanging from the now ceiling which allowed the original cast to climb out is not there!!! Here we go again, Hollywood. For the love of God — oops! sorry! — let's not offend anyone! 'We can't have a Christmas tree! Other religions will complain!" I don't care if it was a giant menorah or if they shimmied up Buddhas face! That was a major scene in the original! Tsk! Tsk!

Once out of the ballroom, the start button on the video game is pressed and we march on, obstacle after obstacle to the bottom — now the top — of the boat so we can get out and BR rescued. Make a bridge, climb, jump, swing over the pit of fire ... all that was missing were power pellets and warp zones! Every now and then someone dies. Whoopie! Cross another one off. Who had money on someone panicking in the air shaft? You win!

We almost lose haircut boy but to no avail. Jaded gambler guy comes to his rescue — probably only so he can bag his mother if and when they do make it out of there. Finally we lose Kurt Russell who either drowns or his body rejects his face-lift. Can't really tell. Again, don't care. Never did. One more gone. Check! However, he manages to reverse the engines as he breathes his last, thus subjecting us to the rest for a little while longer.

Not so long story short, they jam the propellers and climb out to fresh air. And wouldn't you know it? Magically there is a lifeboat just floating there! What?!? What?!? Someone must have entered a cheat code! I'm sorry but this can't be serious!! Why not just have another cruise ship just happen by, scoop them up and they can carry on celebrating the new year? Better yet, how about that alien we mentioned earlier swing by in his UFO and take them back to his planet where they can live forever as gods!


Preposterous! Absurd! Ridiculous! Downright laughable!

They fire a flare and within seconds two helicopters appear and we are finally rescued from our personal disaster!

What a waste! Everyone involved should be ashamed! Save your time and money!

Go watch the original!

... the one with 'adventure' in the title for a reason!!
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Makes Titanic look like a Tupperware party!
raegan_butcher7 June 2006
I think a lot of people are trashing on this film because--after embracing every rotten comic book adaptation and remake of a crappy 70's TV sitcom that's been spoon fed them in the past five years--it is now fashionable to assume the other position and slag on anything that dares to remake a "70's classic", has a big budget, etc, etc.

I found the new version of POSEIDON to be an incredibly intense experience. The sequence where the massive wave turns the ship over is a dread-spectacle of such monstrous proportions that it makes TITANIC look like a a Tupperware party. If you are looking for a lightning paced, edge of your seat thrill-ride then POSEIDON delivers. Josh Lucas and Kurt Russell make fine no-nonsense heroes and they're supported ably by the rest of the cast. The script is lean, with zero fat content and a surprisingly unsentimental edge that had me gasping in astonishment and admiration at many points.
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