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It is New Year's Eve, and over 2,000 passengers & crew are ringing in the New Year aboard the huge cruise ship 'Poseidon' when it capsizes on the open sea in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean! A small group of survivors find themselves unlikely allies in a battle for their lives. Preferring to test the odds alone, career gambler Dylan Johns ignores captain's orders to wait below for possible rescue and sets out to find his own way to safety. What begins as a solo mission soon draws others, as Dylan is followed by a desperate father searching for his daughter and her fiancée--a young couple who hours before couldn't summon the courage to tell him they were engaged and now face much graver challenges. Along the way they are joined by a single mother and her wise-beyond-his-years son, an anxious stowaway and a despondent fellow passenger who boarded the ship not sure he wanted to live but now knows he doesn't want to die. Determined to fight their way to the surface, the group sets ... Written by
Anthony Pereyra (hypersonic91yahoo.com)
I attended an IMAX screening with a group of friends and family on opening day. Some of us are fans of the original. At least one had seen neither the original nor the Hallmark miniseries. One thing became clear early on in this film: a sky-high budget isn't worth a bucket of seawater if the characters aren't interesting or involving.
On New Year's Eve, the ocean liner, Poseidon, is capsized by an enormous rogue wave that appears without warning. Seems all the sophisticated equipment on the bridge doesn't include reliable radar targeting; rather, the wall of water is detected Carnac-style by a bridge officer, and then spotted by a depressed passenger inches away from taking his life by jumping overboard (the audience laughed out loud during the former instance). What follows is the life-and-death struggle of a handful of wealthy Caucasian, er, I mean, assorted passengers through the fiery, waterlogged bowels of the overturned ship, as they attempt to reach and escape through one of the bow thrusters. Who are these people? I couldn't tell you, because at least one person in our group fell asleep during the film, and afterwards, the rest of us could barely remember any of the leads' names or back stories. We learn nothing about the central characters by the end of the film that we didn't already know or sense in the opening introductions. Storytelling is dead in Hollywood.
The Poseidon Adventure, starring Gene Hackman, is still loved by many decades after its release, because the creative forces behind that project breathed life into the characters and crafted a solid film. Wolfgang Petersen's re-imaging, Poseidon, will be forgotten faster than yesterday's breakfast buffet aboard the Pacific Princess, for exactly the opposite reason. It's yet another exercise in CGI gimmickry and a hollow voyage to nowhere.
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