If you liked the grandness of Titanic but were looking for a more commercial disaster movie experience, Poseidon 2006 is a perfect choice. It’s one of those sleek blockbuster movies that you can watch with half a brain cell and still get all the references. You can do your laundry, go to the bathroom, contemplate the futility of existence and still miss nothing. Not only that but you also don’t have to care about any of the characters. In fact, you might want some of them to die sooner than others! They’re all bland and one-dimensional anyways, so it won’t be hard to see them go. This also means that there won’t be a lot of tension, which is good in my opinion. You will care just enough to make the scenes feel exciting but not uncomfortable.
I remember watching Poseidon when it first came out and being blown away by the quality of the special effects. This was some next-level shit, I’ll tell you that! And all those visuals stood the test of time and after more than 15 years still look great. There’s something about these sea disaster movies that makes them so refreshing. Especially if there’s a huge boat involved and this one is a luxury cruise ship. The plot is based on Paul Gallico’s 1969 novel The Poseidon Adventure. This is the third adaptation of the novel. The previous one was released just a year prior.
Gallico got the idea for the novel after he was aboard the RMS Queen Mary and witnessed firsthand just how nasty it can be on the open ocean. And by the way, RMS Queen Mary was hit again by a rogue wave back in 1942, the same it was when Gallico was aboard in the 1930s. One of the best things about Poseidon, the movie, is its pacing. You won’t have to wait long for the story to kick off and once the action starts it doesn’t stop till the end. With a runtime of just over ninety minutes, this is a bite-sized disaster movie and not some epic monstrosity.
Welcome aboard Poseidon, a luxury ocean liner ready to take its passengers into the new year. As the hour draws near, everyone onboard is having a good time not knowing what awaits them. And what awaits them is a huge wave that soon after midnight capsizes the ship. Now, a small group of survivors must make their way through this giant deadly maze to the surface. And they must do that before the entire ship sinks.
Do you remember Josh Lucas? Neither do I but he was really popular at one point in time. And he’s a good lead actor, I would compare him to Bradley Cooper. Apart from him, we’ve got two veterans Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss adding a bit of gravitas to the situation. And we shouldn’t forget about Emmy Rossum whom you might remember from the television show Shameless. In this movie, she plays the spunky but straight-shooting daughter of a wealthy fireman. What, you never heard of a wealthy fireman, well, you have now!
Made on a $160 million budget, Poseidon features impressive sets and a claustrophobic atmosphere. Some of the scenes are too predictable but as I mentioned before, the pacing is surprisingly fast for this type of movie. Finally, if you’re looking for similar sea disaster movies, I recommend you check out first The Finest Hours and Deepwater Horizon, two modern movies based on true events. Then you can move on to The Perfect Storm, In the Heart of the Sea, and The Burning Sea.
Speaking of big fucking waves, we also shouldn’t forget about one hell of a movie based on true events, The Impossible. And more recently, The Wave, although that’s a work of fiction. So, I think this covers your week of movies featuring disaster at sea or caused by huge waves. Enjoy and remember to be safe out there!
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writers: Mark Protosevich, Paul Gallico
Cast: Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Emmy Rossum, Richard Dreyfuss, Mike Vogel, Kevin Dillon
Fun Facts: Cast and crew suffered numerous infections because they spent so much time in water that would become dirty over time.