"Poseidon": Where is Michael Bay when you need him?

by JD Warnock on May 12, 2006

in Print Reviews

If “Poseidon” had been directed by Michael Bay it might have rocked. It would have had obscene explosions, sweet special effects, overt sentimentality and a campy sense of humor. Sadly, this remake of 1972’s “The Poseidon Adventure” was not directed by Bay, but instead by aqua-centric director Wolfgang Peterson (“Perfect Storm,” “Das Boot”) and it lacked most of the aforementioned qualities in addition to being silly, humorless and astonishingly ungood.

Fans of MTV’s “The Real World-London” will recognize promising actress Jacinda Barrett as Maggie, a single mother whose young son Conor, played by Jimmy Bennett (“Firewall”), just won’t stop running off right in the middle of their aquatic crisis. Barrett may be the only member of the rather distinguished cast whose acting deserves a mention. We will never know if Richard Dryfuss’ character had any potential, as it would seem the rest of his performance must have ended up on the cutting room floor.

Kurt Russell phoned this one in, giving a stock and predictable performance. Meanwhile, costar Josh Lucas is lost at sea in more ways than one. Intensity is a good thing, unless it makes your character seem fractured and your maniacal laughing scares the adults as well as the children. Lucas may need a few hours in subtlety class if he’s going to make it to the A-list.

The quick story on “Poseidon” is that it’s just not very good. With some character development, a considerably better story and the ability to laugh at itself it might have been worthwhile. You know you’re in trouble when “Titanic” seemed more fun than your boat disaster flick.  Or when a film critic is wishing the movie was directed by Michael Bay and was more like “Armageddon”.

The original was called “The Poseidon Adventure,” it seems the title of this version is telling, somewhere along the way “Poseidon” forgot its adventure.

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