In 1972 the world literally turned upside down for the passengers on board the SS Poseidon and The Poseidon Adventure became the film that began the cycle of disaster movies that made big bucks at the box office during that decade. Some say that honour should go to Airport, released two years earlier, but the devastation in that movie was not on the same scale as that in The Poseidon Adventure or the movies that followed it such as The Towering Inferno and Earthquake. One of the other aspects of these movies was their big-name cast whose characters were (often surprisingly) killed off as the story progressed.
Thirty four years later, a new Poseidon is launched under the direction of Wolfgang Petersen, a man accustomed to the sometimes unpredictable conditions that can befall a movie in such waterlogged situations; Petersen also directed the World War II submarine classic, Das Boot and the big- wave thriller, The Perfect Storm. The title of his new movie has been shortened to simply, Poseidon but the adventure is as big as ever, and the film has the added benefits that todays special effects expertise can offer.
Its New Years Eve and festivities have begun aboard the luxury cruise liner, Poseidon, at sea in the North Atlantic. One of the finest vessels of its kind, Poseidon stands more than 20 storeys tall, boasts 800 staterooms and 13 passenger decks.
Tonight, many of the ships guests have gathered to greet the New Year in style in the magnificent main ballroom. They raise champagne glasses as Captain Bradford (Andre Braugher) delivers a holiday toast and the band (led by Fergie of the Black Eye Peas) rolls into a version of Auld Lang Syne.
Meanwhile, on the bridge, the Chief Officer (Gabriel Jarret) senses that something is wrong. Scanning the horizon, he sees it - a Rogue Wave, a monstrous wall of water over one hundred feet high, bearing down on them with tremendous speed. He tries to steer the ship away from maximum impact, but its too late.
The wave strikes with colossal force, pitching the ship heavily to port before rolling it completely upside down. In the aftermath, a few hundred survivors are left to huddle in the still-intact Main Ballroom, now resting below the waterline. They should stay together, the captain maintains, and wait for rescue.
One man, professional gambler Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas), prefers to test the odds alone and find his own way to safety. He is joined by a 9-year-old boy, Connor (Jimmy Bennett) and his mother, Maggie (Jacinda Barrett), Robert Ramsay (Kurt) Russell), who is anxious to find his daughter, Jennifer (Emmy Rossum) and her fiancé, Christian (Mike Vogel), a shy stowaway, Elena Gonzalez (Mia Maestro), a suicidal man, Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss) and a young waiter, Marco Valentin (Freddy Rodriguez). Wary of alliances, Dylan reluctantly leads the small band upward through the bowels of the ship