Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Disaster Film, Sea Adventure  |   Release Date - May 18, 1979 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 122 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Donald Guarisco

Although it boasts a top-flight cast and plenty of action, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure falls short of its influential predecessor on a number of levels. For one, this film lacks the character development that made the first film so involving. The viewers are thrown into Beyond the Poseidon Adventure's action without any opportunity to get to know any of the characters, and there is a diminished sense of emotional involvement in their adventures as a result. The cast does their best to sustain interest under these circumstances, but are held back by stock characterizations. The actors who fare the best are Michael Caine, who gives his characterization a sense of conviction the rest of the film lacks, and Telly Savalas, who infuses his villainous role with an effective combination of charm and malevolence. Beyond the Poseidon Adventure also suffers from surprisingly amateurish direction by Irwin Allen, who chooses to shoot the film in a flat, static style that robs most of the film's set pieces of their potential for suspense or excitement. Most importantly, the film fails to deliver the quality special effects that are necessary for a good disaster movie: stock footage of a single explosion is endlessly overused in place of new effects and it is painfully obvious the underwater sequences were shot in a swimming tank. The end result is a film that feels overtly extravagant and cheap all at once. As a result, even the most devoted fans of disaster films may want to think twice before viewing Beyond the Poseidon Adventure.