Water Everywhere - A Movie Review

After working an extra four hours on Sunday (thanks Uncle Phil), I was ready for some mindless fun so I decided to try out Poseidon. I have seen the original, but it has been a very long time, and I remember very little. All in all, this version is a good movie, but you need realistic expectations or it will just be a disappointment.

(Spoiler warning, they’re definitely in here.)

This movie is an action flick through and through and the pacing is very tight. There’s not much set-up at the beginning and the disasters start hitting immediately. I found myself a little on the edge of my seat just trying to anticipate what was going to happen next.

The special effects work well with all the action. Everything was a little too contrived somehow, so it was obvious it was CGI. But the action opens with a great panoramic shot and seamlessly pans to follow a jogger so we get a great view of the boat in all its glory. My favorite though was the last scene of the movie. The survivors are on a lifeboat and the ship has just gone under. The camera pans out and we see a gorgeous shot of the night sky over the ocean with two rescue helicopters.

One thing that’s definitely missing, any sort of character development at all. The writer works in a lot of tantalizing hints about the backgrounds of the various characters (former mayor of New York City who quit when the going got rough, professional gambler who spent too much time in the navy, stowaway claustrophobic going to visit her brother, etc..). I think they could have done a lot with the story by exploring the potentially fascinating backgrounds.

Richard Dreyfuss shows up as a gratuitously gay architect. We meet him in the lobby of the hotel on his cell phone (who gets cell service in the middle of the ocean?) imploring the love of his life to call him at midnight since it is New Year’s Eve. Later on in the ballroom as midnight approaches he lets slip that the love of his life is a man. There’s one other instance where he refers to a waiter as ‘gorgeous’, while they’re climbing through an elevator shaft on a wobbly platform with death above and below them. Other than these two instances there’s no mention of his sexuality. It seems like a blatant, and cheap, attempt to shock the audience that the director abandoned when he realized it wouldn’t work. But forgot to edit out.

Lack of decent plot and character development is the big shortfall of the movie. It could have been made a lot more compelling with a little work. It’s obvious why the director chose not to do that though. All that extra script would have added hours to the film, and the world doesn’t need another Titanic.

My other criticism? I missed the Christmas tree. In the original, all the survivors used it to climb out of the ballroom and escape into the rest of the ship. Trying to convince the others to follow them the entire way.

You can read all about it on RottonTomatoes.com. It only got a 30% rating, but all the good reviews seemed to focus on the action sequences as I did. I hear


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