Thursday, May 26, 2011

Movie Review: Poseidon (2006)

When I was in grade school or junior high, I read the book The Poseidon Adventure, about a cruise liner that is knocked over by a tidal wave following an undersea earthquake.[1] Some time after I finished the book, my parents rented The Poseidon Adventure, a film based on the movie made in 1972, during the era of the disaster flick.[2] This film is simply named Poseidon, but is still based on the same source material.

My verdict: I don't remember much about the original film, so I can't really compare the two. But I can say that this one didn't really seem to have any character development. The characters were the same people at the end that they were at the beginning. All of them seemed to be stock characters: the token gay man that shows up in so many movies these days (Richard Dreyfuss) [3], the loner who begrudgingly helps everyone (Josh Lucas), the overbearing and formerly successful father (Kurt Russell) and his whiny and somewhat rebellious daughter (Emmy Rossum), the terrified mother (Jacinda Barrett) and her perpetually imperiled son (Jimmy Bennett [4]), the naively optimistic captain (Andre Braugher), the obnoxious drunken guy who deserves the way he dies (Kevin Dillon), and the stowaway (Mia Maestro). For the most part the acting was wooden and unconvincing. The one exception was when Kurt Russell's character takes his cue from Bruce Willis' character in Armageddon and gives his life to save his daughter's boyfriend. When he drowns it looked exactly like what I would expect drowning to be like.[5]


[1] These seems implausible to me, but the author's justification was that the ship was directly over the epicenter and that the tectonic shift displaced millions of gallons of seawater. See Poseidon Adventure (novel).

[2] See my review of Deep Impact (here) for more about the era(s) of disaster films.

[3] I am critical of this because the only purpose the character's homosexuality serves is to show how approving the filmmakers are of that lifestyle, not because it has any function in the plot.

[4] He's the weird-looking kid on the television show No Ordinary Family. For my review of the first half of Season 1 of that show, see here.

[5] I almost wonder if he really did drown, for the part, and they just revived him afterward. It was that convincing.


  1. What really bothered me in the drowning scene is that he was able to read underwater. The writers should be ashamed. (Also, he became more lucid for a moment, even though he was increasingly deprived of oxygen.)

  2. But therein lies the drama, right?