johnlink ranks POSEIDON (2006)

POSEIDON is one of those formulaic action films you are bound to see eventually. It is made for commercial interruptions and mindless consumption (though my snobbishness has prevented me from watching ANYTHING with commercial interruptions). It’s been on HBO lately and seemed like a throw away movie perfect for a late night.


I watched POSEIDON (2006) on 6.27.15. It was my first viewing of the film.

POSEIDON was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Special Effects. Seeing the movie nearly a decade later it is fair to ask the question wether special effects have really improved THAT much in the past nine years, or if the nomination was simply for the sheer volume of shots done in front of a green screen. Indeed, this is a movie who’s artifice is always obvious. Rather than a movie in which characters seem to exist within it, POSEIDON feels like it exists in a world manufactured for entertainment.

The script, too, feels influenced by a video game mentality. Characters move from one obstacle to the next, problem solving with enough variance to keep things interesting. But we always feel as though we are walking a pre-constructed path with an inevitable outcome. While there are some surprises in POSEIDON (particularly when one of our heroes chooses, early on, to not do everything he can to save a soon-to-be-victim), there is not enough ingenuity to make this a memorable movie.

The story is a remake of THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. It involves a cruise ship being flipped over in the water. Upside down but with some air pockets, a group of survivors work together to work their way to the surface of the water – the bottom of the ship – as they encounter various obstacles. This remake has some dead people who look downright tortured, though this doesn’t feel like a movie which earns all its casualties.

We have some fairly stock characters as is not unusual in Wolfgang Petersen’s American films. There is a Dad (Kurt Russell) and his daughter, (Emmy Rossum) who has a fiancee (Mike Vogel) despite her Dad’s wishes. We have a gambler (Kevin Dillon), an action junkie (Josh Lucas), a guy who was literately about to kill himself before everything happened (Richard Dreyfuss), a mother and kid (Jacinda Barrett and Jimmy Bennett), and a stowaway (Mia Maestro). It is a motley crew, but one which seems hand-picked by a writer looking for variety.

The performances are not bad, per se, but nobody in this would count it as their best work. Richard Dreyfuss seems bored, Josh Lucas appears happy to be the leading man, and Kurt Russell seems to know he has been in better stuff before. The actors don’t treat this like it’s an important movie, something the original disaster flicks of the 70s like POSEIDON ADVENTURE or TOWERING INFERNO could not be accused of. There are not too many BAD moments, though Kevin Dillon comes close, but there are plenty of uninspired ones.
POSEIDON is never unwatchable. It’s not really good in any one area, and it sometimes feels like you could be doing something better even while you are watching it. No reason to chase it down at all.


Negative bonus point for the terrible Academy Award nominated special effects.


FINAL SCORE: 4.25 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on June 27, 2015.

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