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  Stills for "Poseidon"
(Courtesy from 2006 Warner Bros. Ent.
All Rights Reserved)
Genre: Action/Adventure
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Starring: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, Jacinda Barrett, Mike Vogel, Mia Maestro, Jimmy Bennett and Andre Braugher.
RunTime: 1 hr 39 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Official Website: www.poseidonmovie.co.uk
Rating: PG

Released Date: 11 May 2006


The adventure blockbuster, a remake of Ronald Neame's classic Poseidon Adventure (1972) will be given a new splash of adrenaline-pumping special effects, thrilling action and an exciting twist of drama through the eyes of acclaimed director Wolfgang Peterson of the Troy and The Perfect Storm fame. Alongside this exciting sea escapade is also a captivating tale of love, loss, courage and the indelible triumph of the human spirit.

It’s New Year’s Eve and festivities have begun aboard the luxury cruise Poseidon, at sea in the North Atlantic. One of the finest vessels of its kind, Poseidon stands more than 20 stories tall, boasts 800 staterooms and 13 passenger decks.

Tonight, many of the ship’s guests have gathered to greet the new year in style in the magnificent Main Ballroom. They raise champagne glasses as Captain Michael Bradford (ANDRE BRAUGHER) delivers a holiday toast and the band (led by FERGIE of the Black Eyed Peas) rolls into a version of Auld Lang Syne.

Meanwhile, on the bridge, the First Officer senses that something is wrong. Scanning the horizon, he sees it – a Rogue Wave; a monstrous wall of water over one hundred feet high, bearing down on them with tremendous speed. He tries to steer the ship away from maximum impact but it’s too late.

The wave strikes with colossal force, pitching the ship heavily to port before rolling it completely upside down. Passengers and crew are thrown into free fall, crushed by debris or dragged into the sea as water bursts in through shattered windows. Supports collapse, broken gas lines ignite flash fires and lights fail, leaving vast sections of the ship in darkness and chaos.
In its aftermath a few hundred survivors are left to huddle in the still-intact Main Ballroom, now resting below the waterline. They should stay together, the captain maintains, and wait here for rescue.

One man, professional gambler Dylan Johns (JOSH LUCAS), prefers to test the odds alone. Ignoring orders, he prepares to exit the Ballroom and find his own way to safety, but is collared by eight-year-old Conor (JIMMY BENNETT), who asks that Dylan take him and his mother Maggie (JACINDA BARRETT) along. Fast behind them is Robert Ramsey (KURT RUSSELL), anxious to search for his daughter Jennifer (EMMY ROSSUM) and her fiancé Christian (MIKE VOGEL). Only an hour earlier this young couple had found it impossible to tell him they were engaged and now face much graver challenges.

Wary of alliances, Dylan reluctantly leads the small band of survivors upward through the bowels of the ship. Those who choose to join them rather than wait below include a shy stowaway (MIA MAESTRO), a suicidal man (RICHARD DREYFUSS) who re-discovers his will to live and a young waiter with knowledge of the ship’s layout (FREDDY RODRIGUEZ).
Determined to fight their way to the surface, they must forge a path together through layers of wreckage as the ship continues to sink. Bonds form quickly in this journey of vertical climbs, dead ends and sheer drops. And trust proves vital.


This review is free of MSG but do contain minimal spoilers

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. When the sound and visual effects of a movie clamoured more attention than the plot, you know that summer blockbusters have arrived. Cruising in after “Mission Impossible 3” (pardon the slight pun) is Wolfgang Petersen’s “Poseidon”. A remake of the 1972 “The Great Poseidon Adventure” where Gene Hackman leads a group of survivors out of a sinking ship. Every few years or so, Petersen’s name will be attached to some studios’ tentpole projects. This year is no exception.

Once the familiar Warner Bros logo fade away, 2 sides of me start to struggle and haggle. One: Must we wait an hour before the tidal waves came crashing? Two: Come on, we need some build up and character developments. To address issue one, 15 minutes into the show, the action pieces start to thicken, so for the short-attention span audience, this is the cure for you. However, this arrangement apparently compromised on issue two.

Character developments are shrink to the minimum. What do you know about Jose Lucas’s character, Dylan? Perhaps the only fact that he’s an ex-Navy personnel turned professional gambler. And what about Richard Dreyfuss? Oh he plays a gay architect yearning for his lost love. Kurt Russell? He’s an over-protective dad, an ex-fireman and also an ex-New York mayor. With characters as thin as an A4 size paper, it’s hard to express your empathy towards these people in distress. To make a comparison, at least you spend 3 hours with Jack and Rose on the other ill-fated ship to justify your longings towards them.

Obviously, this movie’s main stars are not Lucas, Dreyfuss or Russell. The main draw is the advancement of computer technology. With the camera shifting and panning in, around and front of the CG created “Poseidon” and panning down to Lucas running on the decks. This opening sequence is good enough to make your jaws drop. Every single slight detail, shadow and rendering is virtually flawless. It’s as captivating as a commercial for a real-life cruise liner. Back in your mind, I’m sure you are wondering where is this ship anchored.

If you recall back in 2000, Petersen did brought us “The Perfect Storm”, a story based on an actual event. Similarly, ILM created the CG storms and boat for most of the hair-raising sequences. For “Poseidon”, the effects are twice bigger and far more realistic than any you have seen so far. ILM has once again triumphed with their pixel technology. It makes you ponder just how far can CG goes in the coming years.

If Michael Bay is akin to a can of Coke then Wolfgang Petersen is a can of Coke Light. Sorry for the less than glamourous comparison, but these 2 guys possess the same characteristics which one can easily point out. Bay’s visual flair in movies such as “The Rock” and “Pearl Harbor” is just as evident as in Petersen’s “Air Force One” and “Troy”. Both of their outputs shine tremendously well on the big screen in terms of visual and sound. Practically, no one remembers Josh Harnett or Orlando Bloom in “Pearl Harbor” and “Troy” respectively saved for the battle sequences.

You got to admire Petersen’s visual flair in “Poseidon” and how the action sequences are staged and concoct with the right amount of tension to glue your eyes to the screen. As a summer blockbuster, “Poseidon” runs at an unusually slim 99 minutes. I bet few years down the road, you won’t remember Josh Lucas in “Poseidon” but you will recall the great effects that swept you away.

Movie Rating:

Review by Linus Tee

(A showcase of the splendid CG technology in the movie industry, one that will sweep you away!)





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