Wednesday, May 10, 2006


by Brian
That there's any positive reaction at all to Poseidon is really quite amazing to me, and Jeffrey Wells's continued enthusiasm for it boggles the mind. It's the worst movie I've seen this year. Admittedly, this isn't saying just a whole lot, since I skip a lot of movies that I suspect would be worse. That said, though, I think it's easily on the level of previous years' chores like Fantastic Four, The Island, or The Day After Tomorrow.

For an action movie, it's extremely dull, easily the most boring movie Wolfgang Petersen has made. Every single action scene unfolds exactly as you would predict beforehand, robbing the film of any kind of surprise or even suspense. And there's nothing here that we haven't seen before in a million other action movies - how many times have we seen people in an enclosed area that's filling with water while they gasp for breath in an ever-shrinking space between the water line and the ceiling? Who wants to bet that they find their way out at the last second? How is such a scene supposed to be the least bit exciting? Especially the second and third times you see it in the same movie?

It’s also extremely lazy in a narrative sense. Apparently the screenwriters couldn’t be bothered to come up with any kind of plausible plot points, so instead they just have shit exploding for no good reason at regular intervals, which then spurs the next crisis, and the next regularly scheduled character death, etc.

I suppose I should acknowledge that I am grateful that the filmmakers don’t waste any time with cheap sentimentality. That said, though, even as archetypes these characters are embarrassingly thin. Schumacher It Girl Emmy Rossum and Richard Dreyfuss both try and utterly fail to make something out of their characters; Kurt Russell and Josh Lucas are at least smart enough not to bother, and play off of their established screen personas. It’s not good work, but they keep their dignity.

Still, it’s hard to care about characters that the filmmakers don’t even try to make interesting. As such, I don’t understand Wells’s reference to the movie’s “most startling scene”. In circumstances where you felt like you were watching something approximating real people, this scene might have had some effect. As it is in the movie, though, it doesn’t feel like gritty survivalism, as it would in a better movie, because who cares about that guy anyway? Plus, you see it coming a mile away anyway.

So, long story short … don’t bother. And don’t be suckered by those who will tell you that this is something it’s not: the special effects are nothing special, the action is not exciting, and the short runtime does not make it actually feel short.


Blogger Nick said...

Considering its short runtime, wonder how much it cost per minute? Since its budget is well north of a $100 million, that would mean a cost of at least a million a minute.

And what would be the most expensive movie per minute? (music videos and commercials don't count)

5/10/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

It's got to be Dinosaur, at 82 min and widely-rumored to be the most expensive film ever made at $200+ million. ($200 million is the highest I can find searching now, but I swear I've heard higher numbers before.)

5/10/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

At least Dinosaur was half-good, even though it was a huge letdown. I remember being very excited by the trailers, and totally enjoying the extremely dark and cynical 1st half of the movie. Then disney had to fuck it up by pasting on a ridiculous happy ending.

5/11/2006 10:21:00 AM  

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