Poseidon (2006)

SX640_SY720_From the beginning, “Poseidon” sets up pins for the potential humongous tidal wave to knock down one by one, and it couldn’t be more obvious if they tried. There’s the over protective father who built the ship, there’s Kevin Dillon playing the worm once again, there’s the independent daughter of the ship’s builder whose boyfriend has an “I’m fucked” sign over his head from minute one, there’s Freddy Rodriguez as a waiter who is hauling his wife aboard secretly. Gee, they may as well have targets on their asses. It’s interesting to note, Rodriguez, one of the few minorities in this corn fed remake, receives the most gruesome, and early death of the entire cast. Curious.

“Poseidon” is obvious. It’s blatant, and it’s so utterly predictable. Gone are the engaging characters, the mounting tension, and characters we can relate to. Gone is the hero fighting his battle with his religion, while watching people die senseless deaths. No, this is an all-star cast, so there’s no one main character to play hero. Before this, there was “The Poseidon Adventure” a television remake that involved terrorism being the cause of the massive tidal wave. I hear that stunk, but judging by “Poseidon,” I really don’t need to find out why. “Poseidon” wastes literally no time. Not fifteen minutes in do we surpass the basic almost forced characterization that’s served to us as a chore-like preamble, until the massive tidal wave literally roars across the water.

The characters here are by the numbers, and the writers don’t waste time on intimacy, and connecting to them. Who needs that? This is a popcorn movie, right? Sure, “The Poseidon Adventure” was just another disaster flick, but I gave a crap about the people on board fighting the odds. Here? Well, Emmy Rossum is fun to look at. Otherwise…? Richard Dreyfuss is wasted, Kurt Russell is downplayed, Josh Lucas is uneven, Kevin Dillon is a cartoon, Andre Braugher is over the top as usual, and like the passengers on this boat, we’re just waiting for them to die. And we’re waiting to see how shocking their deaths can be. It’s “Final Destination” on a ship. Who will die and how? Will it be gory? Shocking? And will Russell’s character ever find his daughter?

Who cares, really? I was looking forward to “Poseidon,” because well, I’m in love with Emmy Rossum. Josh Lucas, and Kurt Russell are always good in even the worst movies, and it’s a story with immense possibilities, none of which were developed to their full potential as we saw here. Obstacle after obstacle, “Poseidon” doesn’t have a real story. Boat turns over, people die, and everyone doles out the “We have to hold on!” speech at one point or another. I’m disappointed. It’s not the worst movie in the world, and it’s certainly not one of the worst remakes in the last four years, but it’s disappointing in its delivery. There’s no focus, no story, and simply nothing to take away from this. It’s a carnival ride, with shocks, endless stunts, and when you’re done, you’ve forgotten it and moved on to something better.