Roll, Roll, Roll Your Boat Roughly with CG
Review by Christopher Coleman
There aren't a lot of movie moments I remember as child, but going to the drive-in with my entire family to see THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE is one of them. The images of that big boat rolling over with people flying everywhere were burned into my three-year-old-psyche. Well, maybe the constant repeat airings of the film over the years has helped to keep those images fresh, but being there at the drive-in remains one of my surviving child-hood memories. One thing I paid no conscious attention to was John Williams music for the film. (It would be five more years before he would arrest my attention and forever divert the course of my line of musical appreciation.) Still, in the hey-day of the disaster film, composer John Williams might have been king and his work for THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE ranks right up there with his other "score a la disaster" like EARTHQUAKE and THE TOWERING INFERNO.
POSEIDON ends up a high budget (as in $160 mllion high) thriller that delivers little more than a few impressive CG shots for all that money. It is vitually impossible to bring a movie like this to the screen, in the post-Titanic-era and not have compared to that new standard in sea-catastrophes. While boasting vastly improved CG-water, the film has nothing to offer "below the surface." An occasional "ooh" or "aah" hardly makes up for the painful dialogue and paper-thin characters. The decent cast was not given anything to work with and so one hardly cares for their fates at all - something that I'd have to say THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE did a better job at. Still, there was at least the possibility of cinematic-rescue in terms of emotional investment and that was the film's score. The question became would the score be good enough to keep the film afloat?
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