Genre: Maritime Disaster
The Pitch: In this remake of 1972's The Poseidon Adventure, a giant wave overturns the ocean vessel Poseidon, and a ragtag group of passengers (including Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas and Richard Dreyfuss) band together in hopes of survival.
Money Shot: The film opens with an extremely long tracking shot that swirls around the ship from bottom up, foreshadowing everything we'll see destroyed in the next 30 minutes.
Star Sightings: Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas performs the New Year's Eve show in Poseidon's doomed ballroom in a mini-music video moment. Jacinda Barrett of "The Real World: London" gets second billing -- and ain't half bad. Kevin Dillon steals the film by channeling his Johnny Drama character from HBO's "Entourage" as a boozing gambler called "Lucky Larry."
Body Count: So high that the countless quantity of dead bodies constantly reappear as burned, bloated or burying the struggling heroes. Director Wolfgang Petersen leaves no corpse unturned.
Flesh Factor: Surprisingly less than the 1972 film, thanks to the disappearance of hot pants and Shelley Winters. Between action scenes Kurt Russell's character repeatedly -- and awkwardly -- discusses his daughter's (Emmy Rossum) breasts and sex life in front of strangers and her boyfriend.
Product Placement: Near the end of the film, the handful of survivors find a miraculously intact Mountain Dew vending machine, and all pause for one dutiful swig.
Hey, Wait a Minute: Unlike the original, Poseidon never explains why the boat was so unbalanced and unfit to handle the so-called "rogue waves" that "nobody sees coming." Has anyone heard of a radar?
Better than the Original?: No. Twice the explosions, twice the bodies and twice the peril does not equal twice the fun. Kurt Russell tries valiantly to channel Gene Hackman as the group's selfless leader, but this version lacks the emotional draw of its predecessor, which even employed a floating camera effect to make viewers just as seasick as the passengers.
The Bottom Line: Poseidon turns out to be a typical, by-the-numbers remake, but A Perfect Storm director Wolfgang Peterson still provides thrills by going so enthusiastically overboard.
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