When a rogue wave capsizes a luxury cruise ship in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, a small group of survivors find themselves unlikely allies in a battle for their lives. As the unstable vessel rapidly floods with water, they face unimaginable odds and life-altering decisions in their desperate fight to the surface.
The 1972 blockbuster hit disaster movie The Poseidon Adventure has remained as one of, it not, the seminal disaster movies in modern cinematic history. It would seem appropriate that some 30+ years later the film was ready for a CGI face-lift and a second, modern incarnation- enter big-budget movie guru Wolfgang Petersen. With such classics as Das Boot and The Perfect Storm under his belt, Petersen would be the natural choice to undertake an overhaul of the proportions of Poseidon. From a strictly visual and dramatic standpoint, Poseidon and Petersen succeed brilliantly. The film is a 98 minute disaster/adventure film of monolithic proportions that is nothing short of visually stunning and is an edge-of-your seat thriller if there ever was one. However, there is an unfortunate downside to Peterson’s latest thriller- that being the lack of character development and the usual slow opening pace that movies of this genre typically follow- where viewers get an introductory look into the lives of the main characters, a bit of a back story and a hinting at each character’s strengths, flaws and vices. Poseidon nearly completely abandons a back story and, instead, immediately thrusts viewers into the action. Let’s be honest, though; you’re renting the movie to see a cruise ship get decimated by a ginormous rogue wave and because Kurt Russell hasn’t been in anything in a while. Needless to say, the limited back story is merely an afterthought. If you wanted an hour or so of commencement and a Romeo & Juliet love story bound together with a bit of Irish folk music and dancing you’d just watch Titanic again. Poseidon does what it’s supposed to do, and does so boisterously with style and eye-popping special effects. A highly recommended film that’s well worth the price of admission and a bucket of popcorn.
Review by Emma Loggins