10 Years: “Poseidon”

Disaster films are nothing new. Some are even fun and memorable, that they stand out over the course of decades. Others, aim high, but can’t even scratch the surface to even be considered good or enjoyable. If only there were examples on how to make a proper disaster film.

The Warner Bros. Pictures film “Poseidon”, is a big budget disaster film with very little reason to care if anyone makes it out alive, or even what kind of disaster is causing death and destruction.

This disaster film stars Josh Lucas (upcoming “Dear Eleanor”, “The Mysteries of Laura”), Kurt Russell (upcoming “Deepwater Horizon”, “The Hateful Eight”), Richard Dreyfuss (“Madoff”, “Your Family or Mine”), Emmy Rossum (“Shameless (US TV series)”, “You’re Not You”), Jacinda Barrett (upcoming season “Bloodline”, “The Following”), Mike Vogel (“Childhood’s End”, “Under the Dome”), Mia Maestro (“Scandal”, “The Strain”), Kevin Dillon (“TripTank”, “Entourage. (2015)”), Freddy Rodriguez (“The Night Shift”, “Ultimate Spider-Man”), Jimmy Bennett (“Murder in the First”, “A Girl Like Her”), Stacy Ferguson (“The Cleveland Show”, “Glenn Martin DDS”), and Andre Braugher (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”).

The film is directed by Wolfgang Peterson (upcoming “Vier Gergen die Bank”, “Troy”) and written by Mark Protosevich (“Oldboy (2013)”, “I Am Legend”). It is based on the novel “The Poseidon Adventure” by Paul Gallico.

The film originally opened on May 12, 2006. The film would go on to be nominated for one Academy Award, one Razzie Award, and one Sinker Award.

When I think on it a little bit more, forget wanting anyone to get out alive, I can’t even be concerned with the disaster, whatever it may be, and how much damage it does. That’s sad for a film that doesn’t strive to do much more than this or be much more. Anyway, I’m sure I saw this film sometime in the last 10 years, but I can’t recall and I don’t think it made much of an impression on me, as I apparently didn’t remember how bad it truly is. This film, just happened to be on TV, on some movie channel, and I began wondering what its release year was. I looked, and low and behold, it was 2006! Unbelievable. I knew I needed to watch it, also because I hadn’t seen it in many years. So, once more I brought it upon myself. I really need to start learning. Regardless, it brings us here, to a film that’s pure fluff, but not very good fluff. Hopefully they never try to remake it again or actually give audiences a refreshing and somewhat smart disaster film.

In this particular film, the execution of the drama involving the various characters was also a disaster. For instance, the moment Rossum and Russell, and maybe Vogel, came on screen and were having their moments of drama, I cringed. It was your typical teenage daughter, I hate my father drama that’s seen in just about everything. Don’t try to tell me it’s universal or something, not that I’d be able to know, but it’s not. In this case, it was just lazy. Afterwards, especially as it played on in the film, I didn’t care. I couldn’t. Mind you, all the other terrible human drama that populated this film, I didn’t care about. At no point did any character interest me. I will say that I went into this viewing with an open mind. It’s too bad it made no difference. I’d say, at best, some of the characters had individual moments of awesomeness, but not enough for me to really care whether they lived or died.

Speaking of death! This bit is a good and bad thing, but even with death I couldn’t be pleased. Characters that I sort of liked, really based solely on who portrayed them, died and characters I wanted dead, didn’t die. Ugh! It was difficult to watch. In truth, it dawned on me as I was watching, that the very people who were dying or not dying or simply in the film, were the reasons why I watched this film even once. Sometimes a film draws me purely on talent. The lucky ones, show me the talent and give me an incredible film and experience overall. Too bad that’s not as often as I’d like.

CGI did nothing for me. The big fake wave, looked like a big fake wave. When I think about it, probably because of how bored I was, or something, even the vastness and beauty of the ship, didn’t impress me. Not that much at least. And when the wave does hit, all the destruction and aftermath, the things that were supposed to put me in some kind of suspenseful state, just didn’t. There were obstacles and moments meant to be suspenseful, but I knew the characters were largely going to be fine. I couldn’t ever get that deep into it all. So, because of this, the various sets were just underwhelming, as were any other CGI sequences done in the film.

Worse than that, which I sort of alluded to in the paragraph above, is how I felt when watching this film this time around. I didn’t have anything you’d really call interest. I wasn’t bored to the extent that I wanted to fall asleep or should’ve change the channel, but I was bored enough where I could be doing other things at the same time as I was watching the film. I don’t even remember what I was doing, but my eyes certainly weren’t on the screen across the room. I’d say that, at best, a handful of moments kept my interest. Not enough to the point where I thought they were truly exhilarating, but enough where I could see some effort made. The attempts made were big, but I just found them lackluster. The crossing from one side over to the other, followed by the big column of fire, cool, but not something that blew me away. Apparently I paid attention to that. Maybe as you get older and you rewatch this film, or if you were older and saw this film, it can’t impress you because so many other films have done something similar, and far better. The only people who could probably enjoy this type of destruction, which I’ve seen with my own two eyes, are children. Yeah, that sounds kind of twisted, but my two nephews somehow found something cool about this film, and wanted to watch it again and again. Other parts of the film, well, much like me, they could care less about.

I like disaster films as much as the next person, unless it’s “Titanic”, then I’m not sure. The jury’s still out on that one. Some, even with all the destruction and death, are fun! I’m mean, come on, what’s the point of making one if you’re not going to have fun and make the destruction look cool?! There isn’t one. Well, not really. If you make it really fun and even somewhat bring something new, then I’ll be okay with it. If not, I’ll get bored and turn to other things I need to do, even if those are just as boring if not more so.

Destructive Trailer:


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