Poseidon: 2006 Version Vs. 1972 Original

Preview 2006: Poseidon

It’s hard to think of another foreign director who has absorbed the Hollywood Blockbuster mentality as fully and as cheerfully as German Wolfgang Petersen. Some of us are still partial to Petersen’s brilliant submarine epic Das Boot (The Boat). However, he seems now interested only in big-budget, star-driven, special effects movies, like The Perfect Storm, Troy, and this summer Poseidon, a remake of the 1972 disaster movie, The Poseidon adventure.

Slated for May 12 release, and rumored to have cost $140 million, Poseidon stars Josh Lucas (would he ever become a star), the always reliable Kurt Russell, Emmy Rossum fresh from Phantom of the Opera, Jacinda Barrett, Andre Braugher, and Richard Dreyfuss.

After Das Boot and The Perfect Storm, this is the third time Petersen jumps into the water (both above and below). As a filmmaker, he seems adept at depicting a small group of people in crisisand in narrowly confined space. The outdoor battles and sequences of the disappointing historical epic Troy prove that point.

Like Irwin Allen’s 1972 film, this updated version once again is set on New Year’s Eve and concerns a cruise ship that’s capsized by a rogue tidal wave. A small yet diverse clique of survivors includes a former fireman-mayor (played by Kurt Russell), a single mother (Barrett) and her son, a hustler with a penchant for poker (Lucas, of course).

As a group, they have to overcome all kinds of physical obstacles (climbing, swimming, running) and there are of course internal psychological tensions and social conflicts. Petersen assures that his movie will be tougher and more realistic than the 1972 adventure, which was dismissed by many critics at the time as high camp; remember Shelley Winters jumping into the water.