The ship the Poseidon has left the U.S. and is sailing in the open ocean around New Year's Eve. There is going to be a big New Year's Eve party on board and all the passengers are excited. Everyone is gathered in the large ballroom and Captain Bradford (Andre Braugher – from television's Homicide: Life On the Street) has announced that Lola (Fergie – from the group The Black Eyed Peas) will be the entertainment. On board this state-of-art luxury liner is an interesting assortment of people.
Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell – Backdraft, Overboard) is the former mayor of New York City and a retired fireman. He is joined on board by his daughter Jen (Emmy Rossum – The Phantom of the Opera, The Day After Tomorrow) and her boyfriend Christian (Mike Vogel – Rumor Has It, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Robert's wife died and he is very protective of his daughter and does not seem especially thrilled about Christian. Dylan (Josh Lucas – Stealth, Sweet Home Alabama), who used to be a member of the Navy, is now a professional gambler who looks for emotionally upset gamblers to win money off of. Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss – Mr. Holland's Opus, Jaws) is a rich architect whose boyfriend has just left him and he is contemplating suicide. Maggie (Jacinda Barrett – The Human Stain, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) is the independent single mother of a young boy named Conor (Jimmy Bennett – Firewall, The Amityville Horror). Valentine (Freddy Rodriquez – from television's Six Feet Under) is a young Latino man who works in the ship's kitchen and he has stowed away his sister Elena (Mia Maestro – from television's Alias) on board.
During the New Year's Eve party a giant rogue wave hits the ship and it starts to sink. There is total panic on board and many passengers are injured or killed. The Captain announces to everyone that they must stay in the ballroom as it will seal itself off and a rescue team will search for them because a distress signal has already been sent off. Robert is in a panic because Jen is not with him. He insists to the Captain that he is leaving and trying to find her. Dylan believes that he can get out. He believes their only chance for survival is to get up to the upper levels of the ship and exit that way. A group of people, including Robert, Maggie and Connor, and Nelson go with Dylan. They meet up with Valentine, who is looking for Elena, and are off to search for her plus Jen and Christian. They find them all and a gambler named Lucky Larry (Kevin Dillon – Platoon) and set off to find a way out of the ship. On their climb up they realize that all those who stayed in the ballroom die because it floods. The climb to the top levels is dangerous with the rising water, electrical fires and floating bodies. Several of the group dies in their attempts. As they get closer to the upper levels the risk increases and they realize that they have to find a way quickly as the ship is sinking.
The original "The Poseidon Adventure" was a box office success, so you knew that it would only be a matter of time before they remade it taking advantage of all they can now do with CGI special effects. In all director Wolfgang Peterson's (Troy, The Perfect Storm) excitement over the potential for special effects I think he forgot to pay any attention at all to things such as plot and character development. Some of the characters are so weak that we do not end up caring one lick about whether they live or die. Even the points in the story when they come up against obstacles become repetitive and boring. I believe that the creators of the film thought that plot was secondary or unimportant as long as the action and special effects were mind blowing. Well, I for one, think that that is not enough and they were not anything that I have not seen before. All I have to say is that we waited this long and the story was a bit weak and the special effects did not knock my socks off. We could have waited a bit longer!
-Poseidon: A Ship On A Soundstage