Poseidon - Miss This Boat
| 15 minutes into Wolfgang Petersonís unnecessary remake of The Poseidon Adventure the titular luxury liner sinks. The movie keeps sinking from then on out.
At a mere 98 minutes, this disaster flick is trim. Peterson, who ruined the legend of Troy in his film from a few years ago, obviously doesnít feel the need to develop any characters. Instead, he curtly introduces us to a select few of the Poseidonís passengers and then suddenly, out of nowhere, with barely an explanation, a giant ďrogue waveĒ strikes and the boat is upside down. Since all the characters are stock and we arenít really supposed to care about any of them in any real way, I guess it doesnít matter that we barely know them. We arenít going to learn much more about who they are by the time the credits role.
Peterson doesnít waste any time on the ďdisasterĒ moments either. Each shot is fleeting and goes by with the speed of sound. We barely see the death and mayhem. Maybe itís too much to take, or maybe they just donít have time. Whatever the reason, the film soon leaves us with our select few survivors trying to, wellÖ survive.
This is where a disaster film is supposed to become interesting. Too bad Poseidon doesnít. You can always tell which unlucky survivor is being voted off next. Usually itís the ethnic ones. This film has a very disturbing trend of killing off non-white characters first. I guess thatís standard in the context of a luxury liner but I still didnít like it. It's a miracle the jewish, gay guy lives to the end.
Anyway, the suspense kills the characters, not the audience. No one ever really doubts who is going to live in the end.
Surprise, the cute kid and his mom make it out! Surprise, the loving but overly protective dad gives his life for his daughter! Surprise, there is a life raft floating conveniently amongst the rubble exactly where our lucky winners swim off the boat! Surprise, they get out moments before the ship finally goes under.
Speaking of the cute kid, there is a moment near the end when he magically disappears, reappears in great peril with no explanation of how he got there and the hero manages to rescue him off camera so we never even get to see how this is done. I hate lazy film making like this. Pulling a constructed crisis out of your ass and not even coming up with a clever way out of it isnít screenwriting; itís cheating youraudience.
I love a good disaster flick. Poseidon is not one. Itís really just a disaster. Miss this boat.