Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Premise: A remake of the 1972 version of The Poseidon Adventure. A luxury cruise liner is turned upside down by a rogue wave and a group of survivors must navigate through the ship to the surface.
What Works: Poseidon is the kind of film that Wolfgang Petersen does very well: a story of survival and adventure with ever complicating action set pieces. The film has some very well done action sequences that are well structured, stacking the obstacles and pushing the characters to extremes. There is a standout performance by Richard Dreyfuss as a gay man who has just lost his companion and finds redemption through the struggles of the film. The resolution of Poseidon is actually superior to the original film, as it gives the lead characters more volition and puts them at greater risk.
What Doesn’t: Some of the stunts cross the line from spectacle and into silliness. Unlike the original Poseidon Adventure, this film spends very little time developing characters before moving into its second act. The characters are not very compelling and they go through the motions of the survival story.
Bottom Line: While it is not a film for the ages, Poseidon is a fun adventure film. Where it lacks in narrative and character, the film is able to compensate with some very effective action sequences. Recommended for those who enjoyed Titanic or The Day After Tomorrow.
Note: This is not the first remake of the film. A 2005 made-for-TV remake has been released on DVD.
Episode: #97 (May 21, 2006)