Sunday, May 21, 2006


cast: josh lucas, kurt russell, jacinda barrett, richard dreyfuss
director: wolfgang petersen

“poseidon” is a movie about a ship that sinks in the middle of the ocean. but unlike that pathetic excuse for a movie “titanic” (rating: 1 of 5 stars) where the viewer is laboriously forced to watch one boring scene after another before the ship eventually and (thank god!) finally sinks, “poseidon” gets the sinking of the ship out of the way in the beginning, and the movie works its way up from there.

also unlike “titanic” where the passengers had access to open air and most of the problem lay in not possessing enough lifeboats to accommodate all the potential survivors, passengers from the “poseidon” found themselves trapped inside the cruise liner as the ship was overturned and most of it was underwater.

when the aforementioned catastrophe struck the “poseidon”, one of the ship’s officials calmly informs its passengers not to panic as gps signals have been sent to the proper authorities and rescue is expected within a few hours. a group of disgruntled people, led by the very rebellious and extremely masculine josh lucas, thought otherwise, and, despite being strangers to themselves, decide to embark on their own crusade of finding a way out of what could possibly become their expensive deathbed-cum-coffin, the “poseidon” being as luxurious as 21st century ships come.

the movie’s theme can be summarized in one word: survival. the audience is treated to an odyssey of what a handful of people will go through to persevere amidst adversity and hang on for dear life, and this i found ironic as one of them, richard dreyfuss, was already going to commit suicide at the start of the movie before he was so rudely interrupted by a gigantic wave that proved to be the ship’s undoing. anyway, the mutinous crew try to pass through each seemingly unconquerable obstacle hoping that the latest hurdle would be the final one.

probably the only downside of having a small group of people trying to survive or perhaps escape a somewhat limited enclosed space (even if the “poseidon” was supposed to be a huge cruise ship by any standard) is the predictability of having casualties. you know someone is going to die and it’s just a question of when and who. but maybe the ingenuity of any movie is in lulling the viewer into complete engrossment that he is denied anticipation of upcoming deaths. and in this regard, i think the movie didn’t do too bad as i was absolutely captivated by three gorgeous looking women, who, at least from my southeast asian perspective are fresh hollywood faces – or fresh meat in other words.

i believe this movie would appeal greatly to the filipino masses as the almost endless obstacles faced by the protagonists symbolize the never-ending daily toils and struggles of the common man in trying to survive in a 3rd world country where corruption prevails in both public and private institutions and malicious enmity exists between social classes and different religions. and just when you think the troubles of one hectic day are over, you lie awake at night worrying and contemplating if you have enough resources to put food on the table the next day. the movie is so apt for the common man that movie producers should make a dubbed filipino version much like the way they dub korean and taiwanese telenovelas.

rating: 3 of 5 stars * * *
your usual inspiring “triumph of the human spirit” story.

1 comment:

rob said...

Maybe they could dub it like they did Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57: "Always bet on black" line.

By the way, this was a remake of an early 70's movie titled 'The Poseidon Adventure' where a young Gene Hackman was the lead character (probably Kurt Russell in the movie). I watched it as a kid and was a bit traumatized by the Christmas Tree scene where some of the characters tried to stay alive by climbing up a giant Christmas Tree in the boat (failing of course).