Poseidon

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Poseidon
Review (6.5/10)
(By Will Perkins)

What is it with Wolfgang Petersen and water? The director has given us such ocean-based movies as Das Boot and The Perfect Storm. Now Petersen caps off his soaking-wet trilogy with Poseidon. Poseidon is a big budget remake of the 1972 Irwin Allen disaster flick The Poseidon Adventure. The story is simple. A massive cruise ship capsizes after being hit by a rogue wave and a rag-tag group of survivors must fight to escape from the overturned ship. Like all good disaster movies, Poseidon sticks to the genre conventions - cookie cutter characters, panicky idiots, little or no plot development and as much action as possible. Poseidon certainly doesn't let down in the action department, but it's hard to care about characters you hardly know.

Poseidon will most likely be a breakthrough role for Josh Lucas. Lucas plays a professional gambler traveling on the cruise ship Poseidon, trying to hustle rich people out of their money through high stakes poker. That's all you really know about the character, and then the wave hits. It's not much, but Lucas gives a good performance, the first of many for him, I'm sure. Poseidon is also a second wind of sorts for Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss. Both actors have not starred in Hollywood blockbusters for several decades. They both do well with what they're given. Kurt Russell plays the heroic former firefighter and leader of the survivors. Richard Dreyfuss plays a suicidal man who finds a reason to live in helping the other survivors escape. Again, that is about as much character information as you get from the movie. Lastly, I would be loath to forget the lovely Emmy Rossum, who plays Kurt Russell's daughter in the film. She played Jake Gyllenhaal's love interest in The Day After Tomorrow, so she's no stranger to the disaster movie genre. I'd be lying if I said her cleavage in the film didn't provide a pleasant distraction from all the death and drowning.

The effects and action sequences are top notch. (I would expect no less from a movie budgeted at a rumoured $140 million dollars!) When the rogue wave capsizes the ship, it has to be one of the more impressive effects sequences ever put on film. There is really nothing to complain about in respect to the action - it's the character development that falls flat in Poseidon. If you don't know anything about a character beyond the obvious, you're not likely to care when they meet their untimely demise. Main characters drop like flies in Poseidon, and I found myself unmoved by their always gruesome fates. That being said, you're not going to see Poseidon for deep plot and character development - you're there to see a cruise ship capsize and the survivors deal with the aftermath.

If you enjoyed such original Irwin Allen disaster movies as The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno then you'll love Wolfgang Petersen's Poseidon. If you also enjoy destruction and mayhem on a cruise ship wide scale, you'll like what this movie has to offer. Petersen puts his band of survivors through hell, and it's all for your entertainment. Poseidon is most definitely an entertaining movie. Just don't expect subtle character development and an exacting plot - just a lot of water and explosions.

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