Sunday, July 8, 2007

Poseidon stays afloat

*** out of ****

Let me start off by saying Poseidon reminds me of last years hit, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they are both remakes but, are different at the same time.

Poseidon is a $160 million film directed by Wolfgang Petersen (Troy, The Perfect Storm, Air Force One). This is the second remake (first was on NBC last year) of the 1972 The Poseidon Adventure, however, I think they dropped the “Adventure”, because, this isn’t an adventure. It is a thriller!

Unlike the first Poseidon movie this one wastes no time getting to the action. Poseidon which is the name of the luxury cruise ship opens with a brief 10 minute montage of the ships magnificence and of the main characters. There’s Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell) former firefighter and mayor of New York, his teenage daughter, Jennifer (Emmy Rossum) along with Christian (Mike Vogel) who are secretly engaged, suicidal gay architect, Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss), stowaway, Elena (Mia Maestro), and single mother and son, Maggie James (Jacinda Barrett) and Conor James (Jimmy Bennett). Lastly there is the independent Hero, Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas) who reluctantly leads the group to safety. What a colorful group!

It is New Year’s Eve when suddenly, a “rogue wave” hits the ship flipping it over. All is chaos and the only way out is up, or down, or… well… you get the point. With the water rising this ragtag team must find a way out. Poseidon plays out like a videogame, just trying to get through obstacle after obstacle with dead bodies strewn about.

Poseidon is short for a disaster film, clocking in at only 95 minutes. There was great acting and a half-decent script but no character development; making the plot paper thin. I am sure though on the DVD extras there will be a lot of deleted scenes. Speaking of things being left out of the remake there is no “Morning After” song, and no Shelly Winters character. Also, unlike the first movie where most of the characters are trying to sabotage the others to save themselves, these characters get along all to well.

With amazing sequences of special effects that look superb you will always be on the edge of your seat. All of the actors did their own stunts which is rare for a thriller of this magnitude give the film more of a realistic feel.

This is a film to see in theaters, or, better yet on an IMAX for the amazing special effects. Poseidon is an entertaining film and easy to follow. Just sit back relax and enjoy. Bottom line: Poseidon is an enjoyable ride but nothing to flip over.

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