I did my best to go into this movie with an open mind, especially since I had though the origianl (The Poseidon Adventure) from 1972 was such an amazing film. I’m glad I did, too.
Though critics have bashed this movie as “unoriginal”, and a “poor remake of a great classic”, I thought this movie was fantastic. And not because they did anything differently than the original, or because they improved the story any, but because the cast was pheonominal. It’s been a while since Kurt Russell’s done anything I thought was worth a damn, and let’s face it, the Academy’s not exactly knocking down Josh Lucas’ door to give him any awards, and the rest of the cast is virtually unknown, they still kicked serious ass. Not only do they execute their roles brilliantly, but their on-screen chemistry is great, as well.
Even the minor characters towards the beginning, before they go off to “get out”, Freddy Rodriguez (who I know from TV’s Scrubs), Stacy Ferguson (who I know from Kids Incorporated, who you know from Black Eyed Peas), and Kevin Dillon (who you may know from TV’s Entourage, and is also brother to the more famous Matt Dillon), all are great, in their not-so-gigantic roles.
While the story isn’t exactly new, or fresh, it is still a great story nevertheless. A giant rogue wave (which looks very realistic in Poseidon‘s CGI, hits the Poseidon boat, and capsizes it, leaving what little survivors are left to fend for their lives, to get out of the boat. The majority of the survivors, as instructed by Captain Bradford, stay in this one large room, sealed off by steel doors, which are supposedly strong enough to keep out the fire, water, and gas that’s now floating about the ship. Robert Ramsey, former Mayor of New York (Russell), is determined to find his daughter, and her boyfriend, at the “club”, which is now one floor up from where he is. Loner, gambler, Dylan (Lucas), claims to know his way around ships, and leads the way for Ramsey, Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss), Maggie (Jacinda Barrett), and her son Conor (Jimmy Bennett, who you know from The Amityville Horror). The group makes their way through some dangerous territory, up to the club where they meet up with Ramsey’s daughter (Emmy Rossum), her boyfriend Christian (Mike Vogel), and a stowaway, Elena (Mia Maestro). This then group of main cast members does their damndest to get off the ship alive.
They come across the usual obsticles you’d expect when trying to get off of a sinking ship. Water, fire, gas leaks, dead bodies, explosions, drowning. You know, the usual. Do they all make it out? No, but you knew that. How realistic would it be if everyone survived together, and lived happily ever after?
I don’t think there was a lot of CGI in the film, but there was definitely some great special effects in the way of set design, explosions, and water filling up rooms quickly, and sometimes not so quickly. It felt very Titanic, which is almost cliche, since it’s really the only other movie where people are almost drowning on a sinking ship, but it’s the best comparison I can come up with. Realistically, any movie ever made about a sinking ship, is going to be compared to Titanic, no matter who makes it, or when it supposedly takes place.
Overall, I’m definitely glad I saw this movie. Was way more impressed that I thought I would end up being, and liked it more than I thought I would. Despite what the critics have said about Poseidon, I really liked it, and think you will too.
Generally, I’m a Bruce Willis fan, well except for that whole Hostage situation. The Die Hard series, Lucky Number Slevin, Sin City, Unbreakable, his role on Friends, The Sixth Sense, The Fifth Element, the list goes on. All, great movies. However, there was just something about 16 Blocks that I didn’t like. Was it Willis? No, I don’t think so. Was it Mos Def? No, I don’t think it was him. Aha! I know what is was.
The movie, the script, the cinematography, and the storyline were all extremely weak. Not in a Hulk Hogan versus Steve Urkel sort of weak, but in a “I sorta have an idea for a movie, but I could use another year to write it out, aw hell, let’s just do it now anyway” sorta way. It felt almost like the entire concept could have been written on a cocktail napkin one night over drinks. Maybe a dinner napkin, who knows.
I wanted to like the movie, because as I said, I like Bruce Willis, I also liked Mos Def in The Italian Job, but something just made me not like this movie. Though the entire cast did well in their roles, I still felt like the movie could have been better, a lot better at that. A weak story about a criminal trying to “do the right thing” and put away bad cops for doing wrong things, would generally be a decent story line. Add in that these cops are trying to kill said criminal before he gets to court to testify. The courthouse is 16 blocks away from the holding cell he’s in, enter the not-so-tough-to-think-of title, 16 Blocks. Enter Willis, who plays the “I’m just about to retire” in a Roger Murtaugh Lethal Weapon sorta way, trying to also “do the right thing”, and get Eddie (Mos Def) across town to the courthouse, to testify.
Sounds like a decent story, and it could have been, but it wasn’t. Very poorly developed from concept to storyline to film. Like I said, I really wanted to like this movie, and wish I could have liked it more.
The ending would have been better if Willis had, in fact, ended up getting killed. Yes, I’m a fan of any movie where the “hero” dies at the end, call me anti-Hollywood.
Overall, I’d say this one’s a skipper, not even worth the Netflix. Unless, however, you’re one of those people who has to see every movie that your favorite actor is in. And if Bruce Willis is your favorite actor, then see it. But don’t email me and tell me I was right, when you’re bored half way through this flick.
Clever, witty, great cast. Excellent movie for the children and got plenty of laughs out of me. The story was a little weak, but that’s allowed in children’s movies. The commercials also made it seem as if the zoo animals were exploring New York City for the whole movie, when really that only takes up about 20 minutes tops.
Kiefer Sutherland voices Samson, the lion at the zoo. His son is Ryan (get it? Ryan the lion), and can’t seem to find his roar. Samson tells his son about all his adventures in “the wild” to help him learn to roar, but nothing helps. After hours at the zoo is when the animals roam free…and apparently when animals are allowed to run free, they organize turtle curling championships. The Penguins versus Samson’s team of misfits. Samson’s team is Bridget (Janeane Garofalo) the giraffe, Benny (James Belushi) the squirrel, Larry (Richard Kind) the snake, and my personal favorite Nigel the koala, voiced by Eddie Izzard. Granted Eddie Izzard could sneeze and I’d probably find it funny, but he’s excellent in this movie. I just wish they had managed to work in the phrase “Cake or death?” (if you don’t get that, go Netflix Eddie Izzard‘s Dressed To Kill comedy DVD right now. You won’t regret it).
Back to the story…Ryan crawls into a crate that is taken to the docks and Samson and his crew follow to save Ryan. Samson is very Jack Bauer-ish, if Jack Bauer was afraid of his shadow every once in awhile and had a band of misfit animals instead of the awesome team at CTU. In the journey, they run into a couple of alligators in the New York City sewers (you knew that story had to be true!). In probaby my favorite scene, the alligators try to figure out where Samson and Co. are trying to get to. Nigel mimes the Statue of Liberty, and the very Brooklyn-esque alligators realize what every New Yorker realizes about people who ask for directions…they’re tourists! The alligators give them directions to get to the Lady in true New york fashion – they tell them they have to get all the way to “Battry” Park (rather than Battery Park), and then argue over which way to send them depending on construction. I could just imagine my Mom (who grew up in Queens, NY) giving directions to a tourist, and my Aunt saying “No, no they’re doing construction on the bridge. You have to go the other way.” Perfect screenwriting.
Of course there’s danger and suspense, and a heartwarming tale about father and son bonding, but that’s all expected from a kids’ movie. Kids will love it, and you won’t mind watching it with them.