That Sinking Feeling

'Poseidon' is a leaky remake that will not float your boat


Poseidon fails to provide even the dubious excitement of seeing a handful survive and hundreds of passengers and crew drown when a rogue wave overturns a cruise ship. Working from the broad outlines of Paul Gallico's 1969 novel and its 1972 screen adaptation, The Poseidon Adventure, director Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot, In the Line of Fire, The Perfect Storm) proves himself the latest artistic loser in Hollywood's continuing game of Wheel of Fortune. He can't buy a decent, workable cliche from screenwriter Mark Protosevich, who must have been suffering from nonwriter's block when he took the job.

Instead of archetypal characters from the 1972 version, like Gene Hackman's rogue minister, who espoused a muscular Christianity as he saved his tiny flock, Protosevich provides clumsy hybrids. The usually great Kurt Russell takes a rare acting tumble as a former New York firefighter and ex-mayor, who left office under the cloud of an ugly divorce and is now hilariously overprotective (that is, if anything here were funny) of pretty daughter Emmy Rossum. Russell splits his macho duties with Josh Lucas, who plays a former Navy man turned gambler with some sub experience.

Poseidon (Warner Bros.) Starring Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Jacinda Barrett, Emmy Rossum and Richard Dreyfuss. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Rated PG-13. Time 99 minutes.

Review D

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