Poseidon is without question a terrible movie, but I’m wondering if perhaps something can be learned from it. Maybe some morsel of knowledge can be gleaned from the wreckage (yay, a reviewer makes a pun). Somewhere, amidst the overacting, the implausibility, and the barrage of big movie cliches there must be some type of life lesson. Otherwise why would we watch, review, or read about this clunker? The good news is I think I know the lesson, I think I’ve found the diamond in the toilet. Dive in with me, won’t you?
Poseidon is a remake of a 1972 film called The Poseidon Adventure but you’ll have to look elsewhere for some type of in depth comparison because I haven’t seen the original. I can’t imagine there are crazy traditionalists out there who care anyway. The plot is of a cruise liner that gets hit by a killer rogue wave. Wolfgang Peterson gives us minute long vignettes on the group of bold and courageous passengers we’ll be following. The minute we get to spend with each is great because it really makes the audience care a whole bunch and understand where each person is coming from. Yeah, the preceding sentence was brought to you by the fine folks at Sarcasm City.
Okay, about those passengers, one (Josh Lucas) is a maverick poker player, though playing the high seas was not a lucrative market I was aware of. One is a former mayor of NYC (Kurt Russell) who used to be a firefighter and also moonlighted as the Lord Jesus. No, but seriously, they’d like to let you know he’s a good guy. You’ve also got your garden variety older gay guy, a momma and kid with no dad, a hysterical Latina, and the mayor’s daughter and boyfriend to cap it all off. Got all that? Do you love this lovable group of scamps already? I hope so, because we are off on a mystical adventure!
So the wave hits and everyone is scrambling around like mad trying to actively avoid drowning or being set on fire. The main ballroom seems to be the only place that wasn’t completely destroyed and it’s from there that Lucas and Russell launch their excellent adventure. From this point on we are taken from impossible scenario to impossible scenario with everyone pitching in to save the day and so forth. Sure, there are moments of doubt, but man – with enough determination and chutzpah you too can survive numerous brushes with death. With any luck you’ll find love along the way too.
Now, I know I’ve been a little mean spirited so far but there were parts I really did enjoy about the film. Poseidon has two or three genuinely suspenseful moments of peril. It also is amazingly funny, (albeit unintentionally) so if you want to go with a friend and bust on it you will have crazy laughs all night long. I’m completely serious here; this is a Mystery Science Theater candidate for the ages. I can almost quasi recommend this one if you promise to take a buddy and get your crack on (not the drug).
Looking back at a simpler time, back when this review commenced, I’m pretty sure I promised some type of knowledge for you. The first lesson you should know is this; if you are a “crazy loner cruise ship poker player” type you may want to stay away from the high seas come New Year’s Eve. Your desire to escape alone will find hindrance and you may somehow attain a damn stepson too. Next lesson, you can probably figure out the schematics of an ocean liner as it sinks if you’ve been in the Navy. Thirdly, if your name is Wolfgang and you’ve done a decent ocean disaster flick already (The Perfect Storm) it’s probably best to not go back to the well. And lastly, while a giant budget, cool effects, decent star power, and brevity (99 minutes) are important, perhaps an actual STORY could be considered next time. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pen the Poseidon sequel which they kindly gave me a million dollars for (but only 20 minutes to come up with).