06 May 2006

Movie Review: "Poseidon"

Poseidon's release brings the hot summer film market to the starting line. In the ages-old Hollywood tradition of remakes, Poseidon is another in a long line of CGI-assisted action adventure film remakes that hope to drive audiences to the theaters in droves this all-important summer season.

With New Year's Eve festivities underway, the luxury cruise ship Poseidon is at sea in the North Atlantic and everyone on board, save for a small crew manning the Bridge, is celebrating in the Grand Ballroom. The band, led by Black Eyed Peas' Fergie (Stacy Ferguson) sings "Auld Lang Syne" while the end of their world unknowingly awaits them. A wall of water, called a 'rogue wave' well over 150 feet high is bearing down on them and efforts to avert the danger by the Chief Officer on the Bridge is thwarted by the colossal force of the wave. Hit by this towering rogue wave, awesome in it's power, the cruise ship Poseidon is capsized and turned on its head, lying on top of the water but turned completely upside down. Passengers and crew are thrown into free fall and must team up to work their way to the bottom (now the top) of the ship. Ship Captain, Andre Braugher, tells everyone to stay where they are in the ballroom, insisting that the huge room can take the water pressure brought on by the shift in weight and remain water-tight until rescue, but a few hardy souls with a working brain and an urge to live – most of whom met while playing high-stakes poker - take matters into their own hands and begin the climb to the top of the overturned ship. With ex-Navy gambler Dylan, played by Josh Lucas, leading the way, a group of about eight people scramble their way upwards through the bowels of the ship as it begins to sink.

The action and effects in Poseidon take the audience for a ride which comes to an abrupt halt just about every time dialog ensues. The audience we watched this with laughed out loud during most of the ridiculous dialog - which screenplay writer Mark Protosevich (The Cell) must have found in some romantic novel. Scenes without the cheesy dialog were handled well by Director Wolfgang Peterson (who made his name helming Das Boot many moons ago, and followed up with Outbreak, The Perfect Storm, and, more recently, Troy). As the cast goes, Richard Dreyfuss made every effort, most of them successful, in sincere line delivery.

As a summer action adventure film, Poseidon fits the bill as an E-Ticket ride. As a movie with believable characters and dialog, Poseidon falls way short… which could make this a great date movie.


Digital Dogs rating: B- / E-Ticket ride

MPAA rating: PG-13

Director Producer Wolfgang Peterson (Troy, The Perfect Storm); Producer Mike Fliess, Duncan Henderson, Akiva Goldman.


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