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poseidon

The $160 million remake of an Oscar-winning great that capsized spectacularly at the box office tries to escape a sinking ship on Netflix

It was taking on water from the very beginning.

Advances in visual effects technology doesn’t necessarily mean an open-ended invitation to mount a bombastic remake of a timeless classic just because the potential to make it infinitely more spectacular exists, something 2006’s Poseidon found out the hard way.

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34 years previously, star-studded disaster epic The Poseidon Adventure masterfully toed the line between populist entertainment and genuine prestige filmmaking, hoovering up $125 million at the box office and winning two Academy Awards from nine nominations in total, cementing itself as an all-time great in the process.

poseidon
Image via Warner Bros.

Wolfgang Petersen’s do-over may have boasted plenty of eye-popping visuals and an ensemble every bit as esteemed as its predecessor, but respective Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 33 and 43 percent from critics and crowds highlighted its many shortcomings, before it ended up losing an estimated $77 million after just about scraping past $180 million in worldwide ticket sales.

For comparison, The Poseidon Adventure recouped its modest $4.7 million budget almost 30 times over, something that its spiritual successor could barely even manage to do once. The gulf in quality is about as vast as the tidal wave that causes the seafaring sh*t to hit the fan in the first place, but effects-heavy orgies of destruction are always lurking around the corner for a second chance on streaming no matter how pointless they may be.

To that end, Poseidon has fled a sinking ship of its own making and secured a spot as one of Netflix’s most-watched movies per FlixPatrol, even if revisiting the original is a significantly better play.


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Scott Campbell
News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.