movie film review | chris tookey


© Warner Bros. - all rights reserved
  Poseidon Review
Tookey's Rating
4 /10
Average Rating
4.70 /10
Dylan Johns: Josh Lucas, Robert Ramsey: Kurt Russell
Full Cast >

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Written by: Mark Protosevich, based on the novel by Paul Gallico

Released: 2006
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 98

Wolfgang Petersen’s Poseidon is a big-budget, blockbuster remake of The Poseidon Adventure (1972), an old-fashioned and infinitely silly disaster movie about an ocean liner capsized by a giant wave. If Petersen has a theme or anything important to say, I missed it. The picture can safely be recommended to anyone who enjoys huge special effects, negligible characters and lousy dialogue.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

Bookmark and Share

Kurt Russell plays a former Mayor of New York who used to be a firefighter. This gives him valuable inside knowledge on how to escape with his daughter (Emmy Rossum, just as uninteresting as she was in The Phantom of the Opera) and her equally bland boyfriend (Mike Vogel).

Josh Lucas (pictured) plays a selfish professional gambler who becomes in lightning-quick time a responsible citizen, thanks to meeting a woman (Jacinda Barrett) who’s entirely uncharacterized, except that she loves her nine year-old son (Jimmy Bennett).

Also on board is a rich, suicidal gay (Richard Dreyfuss) who regains his will to live at about the same rate that you will find yourself losing yours. Dreyfuss used to be a fine actor but has not aged gracefully, and I found myself wondering at the contrast between the age of his face and the extreme youth of his teeth, which appear to have been installed last week.

All our cardboard heroes are determined to struggle to the bottom of the ship, which is now the top. Minor actors are drowned, crushed, electrocuted and incinerated, or simply dropped from a great height. One leading actor sacrifices himself for the good of the rest, just like Bruce Willis in Armageddon and Tommy Lee Jones in Space Cowboys.

It’s standard-issue Hollywood schlock, except that the special effects are remarkable and might even be in with a chance of recognition come Oscar time.

The trouble with a pell-mell pace and a succession of thrills is that they become quite boring if you neither care about the characters, nor believe in them.

Half an hour after the film has ended, you’ll probably find it difficult to remember who survived, or indeed anything about them. Half way through, I gave up all hope of inter-personal contact and began rooting for the water.

The script is so primitive that the sporadic attempts to give some of the characters depth or, failing that, a back-story are more than usually risible. Dreyfuss gets the biggest laugh when he’s asked by one of the other passengers “How bad is it?” and he answers, possibly about the situation or possibly about the movie, “It’s very bad”. With lines like that, who needs critics?

Key to Symbols