Thriller PG-13 Running time: 1:38
IMDB rating: 5.6 Aspect: Wide; Languages: English, French, Spanish; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Audio: DD 5.1
The 1972 disaster hit The Poseidon Adventure was ripe for a big-budget CGI remake, and who better to helm it than thriller expert Wolfgang Petersen, director of Das Boot and The Perfect Storm? It hardly matters that a TV movie remake (also based on Paul Gallico's original 1969 source novel) was made less than a year before, because Petersen's version is far more spectacular, with shocking digital effects, massive sets, amazing stunt-work and enough fire and water to fill five movies with challenging worst-case scenarios. Once again, the plot concerns the capsizing (by a massive "rogue wave") of a state-of-the-art luxury liner, and the struggle of a small group of survivors (including Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Emmy Rossum, and Richard Dreyfuss) to climb upwards, to the ship's hull, in their treacherous quest for a safe exit. Unfortunately, most of these characters are two-dimensional and under-developed (especially when compared to the 1972 film's all-star cast), and the unimaginative screenplay by Mark Protosevich (reportedly worked on by several uncredited writers) subjects them to a rote series of obstacles that grow increasingly routine and repetitious, not to mention contrived and illogical. Again, it hardly matters, because Petersen's handling of non-stop action is so slick and professional that Poseidon gets by on sheer adrenaline. The capsizing scenes are nothing less than awesome, with some effects so real (and so horrifying) that younger and more sensitive viewers may need to look away. And while it lacks the engaging humanity of the 1972 version, Poseidon is certainly never boring. Faint praise, perhaps, but you'll get your popcorn's worth of mindless entertainment.