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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.85%
Worth A Look37.5%
Average: 34.62%
Pretty Bad: 17.31%
Total Crap: 6.73%

10 reviews, 44 user ratings

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by Matt Seaver

"“Could you believe it when… wait… what was his name again?”"
3 stars

I have to respect a film that knows its direction precisely, whether or not I agree with that direction. It is very apparent that Wolfgang Petersen set out to make a disaster film with awesome set pieces and sequences of destruction, and after that, well, what happens is what happens. His focus was clear, and in that respect, "Poseidon" skillfully accomplishes what it strives for, but doesn’t make an attempt to go far beyond that.

On a New Year’s Eve sailing of the mega-luxury liner Poseidon, a party is in full swing with the guests in various states of celebration. Former NYC mayor Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell), Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas) and “Lucky” Larry (Kevin Dillon) are in a snippy game of high-stakes poker; Robert’s daughter Jennifer (Emmy Rossum) is celebrating her engagement with her new fiancé, Christian (Mike Vogel); Maggie James (Jacinda Barrett) and her son Conor are enjoying the benefits of the captain’s table. Less jovial, Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss) is contemplating suicide after being stood up by his partner, and stowaway Elena (Mía Maestro) is getting antsy in the crew quarters of the chef who let her on the ship. All these moods change when a ‘rogue wave’ strikes and capsizes the massive ship sending everyone into a frenzy. All the above decide they’re not ready to stay in the ballroom and wait for death, so they begin the difficult and dangerous climb up to the bottom of the ship in hopes of being rescued.

And that’s just about as much as you’ll ever learn about the characters in Poseidon. There are no surprises, no revelations or advancements of character. After the first twenty minutes, it is simply a race against time with a couple of different character types, and the audience placing bets about who will survive and who will not.

This seems pretty callous, I know, but I doubt anyone who has seen the previews will be going to see the film for any reason other than the spectacle or adventure aspects. And those are the parts of the film worth watching. This is what Wolfgang Petersen excels at – massive visual spectacles that are pure escapism, like The Perfect Storm and Troy, and he feels no need to delve deeply into why things are actually happening. Indeed, the most explanation for why the disaster occurred was, “We were hit by a rogue wave. They’re random and impossible to predict.” But the lack of explanation doesn’t make the film any less fun to watch. Shutting the analytical part of your brain off, though unadvisable for long periods of time, will certainly allow you to get pulled in and thrive purely on the visceral excitement provided by a huge flaming waterfall or any of the other life-threatening situations the group finds itself in – though you probably won’t feel the anxiety as though you were there with them.

With such bare-bones and sketched characters, it becomes difficult to gauge an actor’s performance, but each person delivers the required emotions at the right moments. The intensity button is flipped to “Insane,” and the actors do what they can to keep up, at times going over-the-top, but honestly, what can you do? They’re not given many opportunities to distinguish themselves to the audience, so they must take the chances they find. Russell and Lucas fare decently as the clear leaders of the group, with Russell coming out completely unscathed, mostly because he’s done this stuff before. Lucas proves himself competent, but maybe not the best choice, something probably reflected in the eventual box office take of the film.

Which is a shame, really. It’s not the best thing out right now, not by a long shot, but Poseidon certainly doesn’t deserve to sink (sorry… couldn’t help it…) as it looks like it’s going to. There have been far worse films that have done far better…coming out between "Mission: Impossible III" and "The Da Vinci Code" couldn’t have helped. If you’re looking for a fun little distraction that need not trouble you after you leave the theater, Poseidon may be a good way to go. Just don’t expect to be wowed by anything other than the effects.

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originally posted: 05/18/06 05:43:17
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell exciting with good effects 4 stars
7/29/11 Bob Dog A great b-movie - best disaster movie I've seen in years! 5 stars
5/18/11 Ravenmad I wouldn't want to die like this, but almost did watching this film. 2 stars
11/23/09 Jeff Wilder Story's predictable, no real suspense and we don't care about the characters. 2 stars
11/03/09 Darryl Great sp. effects, stars & fast-paced! Dreyfuss miscast, Cary Elwes wouldve been perfect. 4 stars
8/14/09 Dan better than you've heard, if still imperfect 3 stars
3/26/09 Eric Much better than I thought it'd be - avoid comparing to original and judge on its own merit 4 stars
2/11/09 Stewart Worst movie I have ever seen! No story or characters, just special effects and bad acting. 1 stars
1/16/09 Shaun Wallner Very Interesting 4 stars
1/15/08 JM Synth Generic with paper thin characters, but great action and suspense 4 stars
1/12/08 Brian Mckay Better than Titanic - at least you don't have to sit through bullshit love story first. 4 stars
10/02/07 Rick Excellent action, but weak character development. Still, awesome f/x make it worth seeing. 4 stars
7/14/07 Vincent Ebriega Great effects, set design and action, but, like the Poseidon, sinks too quickly. 3/5. 3 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK To sum it up, Battlefield Earth was better. 1 stars
2/28/07 Stanley Thai This film doesn't need character developement and has very good action scenes. 4 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega This remake is great to watch. 4 stars
1/23/07 Matt Lame,rushed,tooshort-and this time we don't give a shit who lives or dies. 2 stars
10/16/06 Mystique This movie really sucks; it's terribly cliché. You're better off renting "Titanic". 1 stars
10/13/06 Indrid Cold Suitably white-knuckle update of the original. 3 stars
10/07/06 Rhonda Heaslip In my opinion it was an awesome movie that kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved it! 5 stars
9/27/06 Anthony Feor I wish i had saw the origional before this, however it comes quite close to it 4 stars
9/03/06 Dragon The Artist A pretty good, ownable rehash of The Posiedon Adventure 4 stars
9/02/06 Danny Even without compairing it to 1972 classic, still merely average and pretty forgettable. 3 stars
8/29/06 David Hasslehof Not enough substance - could have been Titanic set in the modern era - Godzilla anyone? 3 stars
8/24/06 action movie fan sometimes exciting but seen it all before--ship is the only thing new 3 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant It feels longer than 'Titanic', and is a collosal piece of ass. Hated every frame. 1 stars
7/24/06 malcolm thrilling but ultimately forgettable 3 stars
6/05/06 Jon With excellent suspense and action Poseidon makes the already good old one perfect! 5 stars
6/03/06 MickOZ Are you over 14? If so you have seen this type of shite countless times. 2 stars
6/03/06 MP Bartley Fun for the moment but entirely forgettable. Wavers between average and worth a look. 3 stars
5/29/06 inty speed 2 was better 1 stars
5/24/06 Navi this movie just plain sucks. Maybe add a few details about characters, and make an ending. 2 stars
5/22/06 Jeff Anderson Waterlogged to say the least & cruel. Cast & effects are far better than film deserves! 2 stars
5/19/06 Staci Typical blockbuster filled with thrills and chills galore. 4 stars
5/19/06 Mase Quick and painless, if you are looking for great visuals and no depth...enjoy 3 stars
5/18/06 michael not too bad and close to the first if they would just think up some new ideas 4 stars
5/18/06 Gavin Bamber If you've seen Titanic, you've seen it already 3 stars
5/18/06 JOHN PETERSON When I saw this about 29 years ago, it was mediocre at best. This tiime special effects is 3 stars
5/17/06 Astro Boye THis movie Sucked- Homopphobia and racial bias sink this ship! 1 stars
5/16/06 pipe 10 minutes of decent special effects and 1-1/2 hours of mind-numbing plot and dialog. Glug 1 stars
5/14/06 Ron Green The special effects were great! It makes the original poseidon look like a sailboat! 4 stars
5/13/06 Captain Highcrime Moved so fast...Wolfgang must have been double-parked outside the post house. 4 stars
5/13/06 Mike C. Finally a movie that lived up to its preview. It kicked ass! Very intense! 5 stars
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  12-May-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 22-Aug-2006



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