Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Poseidon (12A)

Dir: Wolfgang Petersen, 2006, USA (99 min)
Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Jacinda Barrett
Recognising the dramatic potential of catastrophe, a few years ago Channel Five soap opera Sunset Beach featured a calamitous luxury cruise. Liberally pilfering from Cameron’s Titanic and the original Poseidon Adventure, divas in evening gowns waded through sets made of chipboard trying to find high ground while Gabi had an affair with her husband’s brother (the priest!).
This slightly more expensive tread-through of the 1970’s disaster flick replaces such hysteria and camp with CGI explosions aplenty and an unsentimental race for survival. Strong jawed determination comes courtesy of twinkly-eyed gambler Lucas (an ex-navy seal) and worried patriarch Russell (ex-Mayor of New York, and fireman!), with Peterson confidently maintaining tension to the end. But the lack of mental breakdowns or crises of faith may leave disaster fans feeling cheated. And a soggy performance from Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas as the sole concession to hairspray and sequins is unforgivable. Kate Taylor

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