Old Vs New: The Poseidon Adventure (1972) vs Poseidon (2005)


Remakes are a risky affair. Sometimes modern techniques help improve the quality of the film. Other times it doesn’t go so well, the original is so deeply cemented in people’s memories that the remake simply cannot touch it. Today I will be comparing two films to find out which one is better, or indeed if there are any differences at all. The 1972 Poseidon Adventure and the 2005 Poseidon. I’m gonna use 4 categories: Main Character, supporting cast, effects and story. Also the views expressed in my video may not be the same as yours but remember, I’m doing the review so instantly my opinion becomes more important. So without further ado, lets take a look at our first category.

Main Character

The main character from the Poseidon Adventure is the Reverend Frank Scott (Played by the legendary Gene Hackman). This was an interesting character. He started the film believing in God, preaching that people should trust God to see things go right but also that they themselves should strive for their goals. He was headstrong and determined which is seen throughout the film as he leads the survivors through the capsized ship. He also feels pained every time one of them dies, feeling responsible as their leader. At the end of the film he just snaps. Scott has jumped to try to open the door for the others to get through and is left hanging from the valve to turn to steam off to clear the way. He eventually curses God for allowing all the other innocent people to die and then mocking God by ‘offering’ himself as a sacrifice to appease him, Scott then lets go, committing suicide telling the other survivors exactly what to do. This is a great character following a common formula, a religious man who see’s death and disaster and therefore looses his faith.. Nevertheless this is a brilliant character.

The main character in the 2006 remake is Dylan Johns (Played by Josh Lucas). Johns is the leader of the group and a professional Gambler. The character is leader but the all the other characters, especially the Kurt Russel character, also played a large part in leading the group. I did like the relationship between the Conner kid and his mother with Johns. Sometimes, however, I think he can be far too brutal. He tells another character to shake another guy off his leg, leaving him to fall to his death. I don’t think this character was that developed, and I found myself  forgetting him pretty quickly.

I think on this occasion the point has to go to the original. The Preacher character has everything that the Johns character has and more. The character was more memorable and far more developed and complex. Point goes to old

Old:1 New:0

Supporting cast

The original film had a wide range of supporting characters. The old couple, the Gruff New Yorkers, the kids, the singer, the bachelor, the steward and there are probably more. I’ll only concentrate on a few per film. I love the elderly characters, Manny and Belle and I think the relationship between the two comes across as very genuine and I found myself growing attached to them, even mourning when Belle died. I liked the New York couple and thought that the Mike character was a good, even excellent, contrast to the Pastor (Mike Rago being a man of the law and often very brutal while the pastor is more peaceful). I thought Rago was also complex, showing a wide amount of emotions when his wife died. I loved the relationship between the singer and the bachelor. I loved the kids. They were actually good characters and actually credible actors, even good on some occasions. I enjoyed the relationship between the girl and the pastor. All in all these characters are developed, interesting and memorable.

The remake…not so much. I liked the Architect,  Richard Nelson (played by the great Richard Dreyfuss of Jaws)….Thats about where it ends. The other characters were very forgettable. I actually have the Wikipedia page up now to remind me of these characters. None of them were very complex or developed. They were good actors but I still found that they had little effect on me. The only one I actually cared about was the architect and that was probably mainly due to the actor, granted the character was probably better developed than the others, the whole appreciation of life after his suicide attempt. Most importantly, the kid in this made me want to hurt people. He was irritating and did some really stupid things at times. He gets himself caught in a tiny space filling with water, endangering everybody else. I thought the mum and the John characters relationship was good and I did like the architect and the illegal immigrants relationship but thats where the buck stops.

The characters in the original were far more complex and interesting than those in the remake, most importantly though, they were far more memorable. I liked the architect from the remake and I think some of the relationships were good but on the whole it just wasn’t that memorable. Point goes to the original.

Old: 2 New:0

Effects

The original film was made in the 70’s and so the effects aren’t exactly perfect for this day and age. Even so they still look good. The water scenes look very genuine and the interior of the ship, it being upside down, looks great and very real.  Not much else to say really. Everything looks realistic and great. The remake still looks great but takes a different approach. The ship looks much better. Its far more luxurious and the ballroom looks bigger and better. The water scenes look fantastic and the hull of the capsized ship looks better than the original.

Not a large category but whilst both films look great I prefer the look of the remake. To be expected really.

Old: 2 New: 1

Story

This is the most important category, storyline.  The original had a lot of good plotlines. The preacher’s story is great as is the kids, who fight and then come closer as siblings, The elderly couple who are going to see their newborn Grandchild, the New Yorkers who argue constantly yet love each other deeply. These are some good plot points.  The sequel…Well to be honest I can’t remember. I think there was a young couple who had got engaged, an architect verging on suicide…thats all I remember. It is such a forgettable film. The main point is the build up. The Poseidon adventure talks a good chunk of time building up tension, introducing us to the characters and developing them. The remake…doesn’t. A full 15 minutes people, thats all we get to meet our characters before the disaster and naturally it glances over a few. This is pretty obvious, point goes to the original.

Old: 3 New:1

Well there you have it. The original has great characters who are interesting and developed as well as decent effects and a good story. Most importantly its memorable. The remake is just so forgettable that I re-watched it twice whilst writing this review and even then I had the Wikipedia page open. It isnt engaging, it doesn’t develop the characters and its just boring. Granted the effects are great but even then the original had that. The original Poseidon adventure will always be better. Below are my review scores for each.

Poseidon Adventure: 10/10

Poseidon: 4/10

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4 thoughts on “Old Vs New: The Poseidon Adventure (1972) vs Poseidon (2005)

  1. I agree, allthough i must say that the effets are 10 x better on the new one and i dont think it deservs such a low rateing.

    p.s. R.I.P. fat woman from origional…. you were my ❤

  2. You obviously dont know wtf your talking about! The graphics for the new one are so much better than the ones in the old version. Tht is why the newer one is better. The characters in the old one were boring and Gene Hackman can’t act for shit…

    • Now, you say that, but for starters you originally called him Gene Kelly (a dancer, so you can thank ME for stopping you from looking like an idiot). Everything we write is subject to scutiny. We get that. Do we mind? No. Of course not. It’s out job to accept criticism. We judge, so must be judged! However, there is no need to state categorically, that because someone disagrees with you, they cant have a clue what they’re on about. Sure the graphics are going to be better in the remake than the original. It’s a newer film. Did Ben give it a point for that? Yes. Can you base a film ENTIRELY on it’s graphical elements? No! You can’t!

  3. Well said! Only I would have used far stronger language…Also Gene Hackman can act.

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