Thursday, March 24, 2016

Movie Review: The Poseidon Adventure

The Poseidon Adventure (2005 TV Movie)

Recommended For: Ages 13 to Adult

Rating: NR (I would rate it PG-13 for Intense Disaster Sequences, Disturbing Images, Some Violence, and Brief Sexual Content)

A cruise ship succumbs to a terrorist act and capsizes on New Year's eve. A rag-tag group of survivors, spearheaded by a priest and a homeland security agent, must journey through the upside down vessel and attempt an escape.

One day many years ago, there was a movie on TV called Poseidon. In the brief description on TV, it said something about a ship capsizing, so my dad turned it on during dinner just to see the ship flip over and then he planned on turning something else on.

We got hooked on the movie. My mom made us turn it off before we saw the ending, and we've wanted to finish the movie ever since. Apparently, there are three versions of the movie (who knew?) and my mom found this version at Goodwill and gave it to me for my birthday. While we were watching it, we found out it wasn't the one that we had watched those many years ago. I enjoyed this version somewhat, but it's definitely not as good as the movie I remember watching.

Technical: 3.5/5
For a movie made by Hallmark, I'm seriously impressed. Any other company... Ouch. To start off, a ship with a hole in the stern wouldn't have flipped over like that. It would have sunk much like the Titanic did, although the Titanic had no huge hole, just a bunch of popped rivets. Second, the CG for the most part looked like it was from the 80's, not two years after The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King came out. The shots of the ship at sea were obviously fake. One instance where a lady sends off an email in an already-capsized ship seemed very unrealistic. Also, the stretching out of the drama really bugged me. I mean, hello, the ship is going under in five minutes or less, we don't have time for heartfelt words by the dad who's cheating on his wife to his entire family. And could they have slowed down the crossing of the catwalk over a bunch of flames a bit more? Not to mention sending the terrorist over before the twelve-year-old boy. Sheesh. People in movies have no sense of time. The characters dawdled way too much at the ending. The acting, however, was pretty good, especially considering the cheesy script they had to work with at times. The background music, while certainly not going into the record books, was also pretty good, and the scene switches were done well.

Setting: 4/5
A cruise ship, obviously. I have never been on a cruise, so I wouldn't know how accurate it is, but the fact that the twelve-year-old boy can wander around practically anywhere on the ship just because the cook said it was okay seems pretty unrealistic to me. And where were all the lights for port, starboard, etc.? Maybe I'm missing something, but I've seen plenty of pictures of cruise ships sailing at night to know there should be more lights on than just the cabin lights.

Plot: 4.5/5
It's pretty simple, really, not much where you can go wrong. Although it probably would have been best to cut the terrorists and stick to the 90-foot tidal wave. It wouldn't have dragged the beginning so unnecessarily long and would have been a bit more believable in capsizing the ship. All in all, though, it was pretty good. There was one part, a random murder on board ship, that didn't connect to the plot whatsoever except for causing the Homeland Security agent to trail one of the terrorists and end up stopping him.

Character Development: 4/5
Not spectacular, but could have been much worse. I think their problem was they tried to deal with too many characters and develop them all in depth. The most developed would probably be the jerk that was cheating on his wife and the old widow. I liked most of the "good" characters, except for the jerk dad, and I had some reservations about the young nurse trainee who fell in love with a guy that looked older than her father. Other than that, though, with their limitations, I think they did a good job developing the characters, but none of them will live long in my memory, except for the lady played by Alex Kingston, and that solely for the reason that she played River Song.

All this makes it sound like I didn't enjoy this movie. I did, sort of, I certainly wasn't spectacular. Especially considering the content with the adulterous man, I wouldn't really recommend this movie. I would go for the 2006 movie instead (which naturally I can't endorse whole-heartedly, since I haven't seen it in years and it was the TV version, but I don't think there was much bad content in it). So, I'm off, and hopefully soon, I'll be able to finish the movie we started many years ago.

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