By Mark Ramsey | 2006/05/14

There’s got to be a morning after, so wake me up when Poseidon’s over.

Director Wolfgang Petersen can’t seem to stay on dry land. If he’s going to spend so much of his career working offshore, why not install a refinery on set since he’s more likely to strike oil than box office gold.

Where are the big names? It’s as if the S.S. Poseidon poseidon_bigwave.jpg

capsized onto the Lifetime network. If this movie contained any more B-movie actors, the dialogue would hard-boil spontaneously.

Stop the presses! Josh Lucas is starring in a movie!

No, he’s the guy on the big screen. That one. Over there!

No, the other one!

Yes, Josh Lucas, who proves that a resemblance to Paul Newman is only skin deep. The go-to guy when Brad Pitt is adopting children, Matthew McConaughey is sleeping it off in an opium den in New Delhi, and the entire cast from One Tree Hill is bussing tables at Johnny Rockets on Melrose.

Josh is filling the role Shelley Winters made famous in the original Poseidon Adventure. After all, they both have dimples – albeit on completely different sets of cheeks.

“Look pal, I’m one flop, a tin cup, and a monkey away from organ-grinding on a street-corner in Santa Monica,” said Lucas.

poseidon_blueeyes.jpgIn the original version of this script, the Poseidon sinks into Lucas’s dreamy blue eyes. “Unfortunately,” says Lucas, “nothing sinks into my head without rapidly emerging from the other side, covered with cobwebs.”

Said a Warner Bros. spokesperson with a shrug: “Some movies we produce to make money, others are aimed at discouraging movie piracy – and nothing’s going to teach pirates a lesson like a download of Poseidon.”

You know a movie’s bad when you can’t even attract a crowd at a free advance screening: “Yes, the theater is half empty,” explained the studio rep, “but there’s a very special Sanford and Son on TV Land tonight.”

As the wave slams over the boat, the captain takes control: “We’ve been struck by a rogue wave,” he explains to alarmed passengers who have pretty much long since figured that out, “or a wave with a bad case of PMS.”

“Mr. Holland’s Oh Piss!” screams Richard Dreyfuss, as the water comes crashing down. Richard plays a very old man with very young teeth.

Y’all know the story (which is at least half the problem): After fifteen minutes of awkward introductions which feel long enough for several ice ages to rumble through the theater, a wall of water crashes over the Poseidon and our heroes, such as they are, need to battle their way to the boat’s bottom to escape.


In the process, the cast climbs over girders more fractured than the fairy tale that guides them. Fortunately, our friends locate handy schematics conveniently posted wherever potential disaster and Richard Dreyfuss’s teeth loom.

“We’re going to remake Earthquake next,” said director Petersen. “I hear Geneviève Bujold is available between now and 2015.”

Phantom of the Opera alum Emmy Rossum plays the young love interest in a role digitally copied without conscience at very low resolution from Kate Winslet in Titanic.

Now I was at an awards function with Emmy Rossum, and I’ll tell you something: She was locked on big-name talent like a bloodhound on a pigeon. If George Clooney ever visits her home I suspect she’ll pee on the carpet.

Poseidon is so bad, it’s as if the filmmakers never even heard of the original movie, let alone saw it. “Is that the one with Gopher and Captain Steubing?” asked Emmy after her nose was surgically extracted from Kurt Russell’s ass.

Yes, the original was a cheese-fest, but that was half the fun – the half missing from this sorry “re-imagining.”

“We wanted to build in a love story, just like Titanic,” said Petersen.

This is Titanic, all right.

Titanically bad.

Never name a boat after a God whose home is the ocean floor.

It’s just bad karma.

Photos Copyright ©2006 Warner Bros. Pictures

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