Saturday, April 26, 2014

04/26: Poseidon

A remake that I predicted back in the 90s would happen in 2006. Unfortunately, the timing for this wasn't great for Wolfgang Petersen, who directed a newer version of The Poseidon Adventure. America by that time had seen so many disasters on screen, in reality and in fiction. Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 had occurred just within the last few years at that time. Petersen did try to recreate the story and film, with an all-star cast and a somewhat more modernized version.

The RMS Poseidon is en route to New York on the Atlantic Ocean. Unbeknownst to most of the crew and passengers, an earthquake is about to happen and could affect the ship in such a way. We get to know the characters in the beginning: among them are Jennifer Ramsey (Emmy Rossum) and her NYC mayor father (Kurt Russell) as well as her fiance (Mike Vogel); Elena (Mia Maestro), a pretty, young stowaway; and Dylan, a compulsive gambler (Josh Lucas). Like the original one, this is a character-driven drama in the midst of a disaster. When the boat overturns, killing more than half on the ship, the lucky ones escape and try to find the top (or the bottom of the ship).

The movie does parallel the original 1972 disaster-genre film in many ways. You can definitely tell by the technology, as there are plenty of CGI to go around. Of course, the characters changed as well as their names. We do get to know them pretty well, and unfortunately we see some of them not survive throughout the movie. We also get to see new struggles for the survivors, as they try to connect to anyone in the outside world. The one thing I thought was missing were the performances of the survivors. I always thought Gene Hackman, who was the leader in the original film, put on a powerful performance. Here in the remake, there was no official leader, but the three men who do didn't match anything like Reverend Scott's.

What I mean by bad timing was, not just what was explained in the introductory paragraph, but for many other reasons. Today, and even ten years ago, Hollywood is being swamped with remakes, sequels, etc. I always bring it up all the time! Some may have seen it as a way to capitalize on the continuing popularity of Titanic, which was put out nearly a decade before. 2006 was also a year that was hard to compete in cinema, as there were several big blockbusters that year, such as The Da Vinci Code and several Disney and animated films.

I will warn you, you will witness several people die tragically, in a disaster sense. So, if it's nothing new to you, go ahead and check this out.

My rating: 5 out of 10

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