Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Poseidon - Movie Review

Watched Poseidon on Monday with a friend from high school. I normally watch movies in the evenings on weekends so it was rather surprising how few people there are on a Monday night (could be counted on 2 hands) even though this cinema is in Sydney city.

It's essentially Titanic except they're trapped in an upside-down ship and it isn't boring (it probably won't win any film awards as a result :)).

Quite a thriller as a bunch of the characters break away from the main group to save themselves, as the water rises inside the ship and fiery debris is abound. They drop one by one. I say "a bunch of characters" because character development is fairly poor, there are too many main characters (think "Copland" but not as bad), some of the actors look the same and could have gotten away with playing another character for a bit without anyone noticing.

For black humour, the kid resembles the one from "The Sixth Sense" so just after the ship has tipped over, and with encouragement from a former fireman, he jumps down from where he's hanging, I could just imagine him making the observation "I see dead people".

Nevertheless, the acting of all the characters is exceptional and the life-death decisions they make are rather gripping. The camera work is excellent in building up and maintaining the tension. The pan around the ship at the start is stunning (and could probably only have been done via computer graphics).

Now for plot problems:
1. The elderly man mentions something to his business partners (?) about someone regrettably leaving and that they know the consequences of this. He seems to try to get in contact with this mystery man (but later throws his mobile phone into the ocean). It is implied that this person leaving is going to result in some disaster but this seems to have no bearing on the plot (unless it was disaster). Anyone know what's going on?

2. The captain orders the ship to do a starboard flank. However, the "rogue wave" is shown to be approaching from the right of the ship. So the captain actually turned the ship into the wave!

3. The area with the main dance floor of the ship is claimed to be airtight and the air bubble will keep the ship afloat. But air must be pulled from the outside otherwise, even in normal situations, air would run out quickly and everyone would die of carbon dioxide poisoning (exhaled breath). Therefore, it can't be airtight.

Summing up, an exceptional thriller for people who appreciate simple entertainment. On my Prime - Spiderman 1/2 - Batman Begins scale, where Prime = hopelessly boring, Spiderman = ok-good and Batman Begins = exceptional, it scores somewhere between Spiderman and Batman.


Kae Verens said...

Two of the plot holes are not holes.

If a wave is approaching from the right, it makes sense to turn into it. If you don't, then the ship will be tumbled easily. If you do, then the shape of the ship helps to keep the ship stable (the prow "divides" the wave).

In any very large building, a ship included, air supply is managed by air conditioning. In a ship, I suppose this is managed by sucking air in at the front of the ship, and blowing it out at the back. Of course, this will need to be kept pretty high above the water, so when the ship is turned upside down, the air conditioning, and therefore the air supply, is removed.

Max Howell said...

Average respiration hardly uses any oxygen, I believe you breathe in 21% and out 20.5%. So a huge ship has plenty of oxygen.

Lauri said...

But here is the great hole:

Tsunamis aren't that kind of walls before theyreach the shore. Even the great Asian tsunami a few years back was hardly noticeable few miles off the coast.

Clarence Dang said...

kae: Wouldn't it make better sense to run away from the wave i.e. have the ship travel in the same direction as the wave?

max: Hmmm, I guess that's why CPR works then... Why do we need so much oxygen then if it's just breathed out?


Michael Maclean said...

The chances of your ship managing to out-run the wave are pretty small. And there's more of you to hit if the wave is coming from behind - the stern is usually pretty square but the bow is sharp and is designed to carve water up.

ohsnapp said...

Number one on your plot problems that are not infact problems just some small details you over looked.

!. The elderly man is an architect who is traveling with as you said his business partners. The man who missed the ship which he refers to at the beginning is his ex-boyfriend...yes that's right a gay character. Please hold your homophobic antics until the end.

2. As stated before in the comments, when a ship is put into a situation of danger you never...and I mean NEVER turn your broad side to danger. The wave capsized the boad because they could not turn into it in time. While there would have been damage, sailing into the wave would have saved the ship to the point that numerous rescue boats and aircraft could have come in ample time.

3. Once again the previous commenter is correct. Humans do not use but a little over 1% of the O2 they intake. Even so that air bubble would have to have atleast 10 times as many people as it did in the movie.

Clarence Dang said...

ohsnapp: thanks for explaining #1 - I never understood it, until now.

Movie Reviews Collection said...

Nice review. The film looks interesting but I failed to watch it before. But I'll to watch it this time.