When The Poseidon Adventure (1972) was released, I don't think a lot of people at the time would have imagined it becoming such a cult classic and spawning two remakes. It also brought on a new film genre, disaster movies, along with a roster of former big name stars who would face all kinds of future disasters.
For many people, this is the movie that started it all and put a child in peril (try to forget about Tammy Marihugh from The Last Voyage. She's going to pop up in a later column) namely Robin Shelby (Eric Shea).
Robin has made friends onboard and is always willing to learn about the ship from them, since right now it seems to be keeping him out of trouble. With learning about the ship, his knowledge will eventually help the small group of survivors as they climb their way to the engine room following the capsizing at midnight.
Sure, he doesn't know the appropriate things to say at any given time, unless he's arguing with his older sister Susan (Pamela Sue Martin) but that's just how kids are and they will say the darndest things.
With his knowledge of the ship, he knows that the hull is only one inch thick and after those in the dining salon secure the Christmas tree, he's more than happy to be the first to climb it so that the others can follow in his path.
He's always up for the challenge and really looks at the disaster as a personal adventure for himself.
As the pioneer for the other two boys who eventually travel on the other Poseidon's, Robin is truly the one who gains the respect that he deserves.
So there aren't that many Poseidon fans who enjoy this two part mini series. It has its moments and I admit that I marginally like it.
Except for Dylan Clarke (Rory Copus).
While Dylan is grating on the nerves, I wished he would have missed the ship before it sailed from Cape Town, South Africa or, his rich parents Richard and Rachel (Steve Guttenberg and Alexa Hamilton) could have paid his sister Shelby (Amber Sainsbury) to take him on a different Christmas vacation.
Rachel hopes that she and Richard can mend their differences and maybe save their marriage but given the fact that the whole family is dysfunctional it'll never happen until the heartwarming conclusion.
The Clarkes are off on their own shipboard adventures and how, in 2005, was Dylan allowed to just roam the ship with his video camera and wind up in the kitchen? Isn't that a health hazard?
Anyway, he enlists the help of Ronald Acre (Andrew Brent) to help him with the horror movie he's making, and while obliging, I always ask myself, you can take time away from your duties to play with a kid?
The two later come across the body of a crew member.
Dylan later overhears his parents arguing and runs away to hide on the ship until Rachel finds him in the Internet Lounge and the two head off to the ballroom to wait for midnight.
After the ship capsizes, he's approached by producer Jeffrey Eric Anderson (Bryan Brown) to record everything for a special he'll produce once they get out off of the ship. Dylan does a little negotiating regarding payment for his footage and assures Anderson that he has a backup battery and a few other things that'll help with his filming.
As the survivors make their way to the bottom of the ship, Dylan is happy to grab some free candy bars (and he takes the majority for himself) and his watch reminds him when it's midnight, which he has to announce. Honestly, with so much that's happened, it's only midnight.
He doesn't really contribute much to the story and the funny thing about him is that while the other survivors get dirty and rip their clothing, how is it that he remains clean and unscathed?
When we're first introduced to Conor James (Jimmy Bennett) he's busy playing a video game while wandering aimlessly through the casino on the second floor of the grand ballroom and bumps into Dylan (Josh Lucas) causing him to lose his poker chips.
Conor's mother Maggie (Jacinda Barrett) scolds him and then tells him that his friend, the captain (Andre Braugher) is going to let him sound the New Year horn and he scampers off to the stage.
When the ship starts to capsize, he makes this stupid face (which I always make fun of) and grabs hold of the piano legs and well, you guessed it. He's the one who needs to jump down in this version.
Once he's left to wander amongst the carnage, he sees Dylan stealing from a dead passenger and asks what he's doing. He tells him that he's getting out, which in turn, Conor tells Maggie and before you know it, Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell) Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss) and Marco Valentin (Freddy Rodriguez) are climbing up the inverted stairs.
Well, Conor really doesn't walk since he's pretty much pushed up and then grabbed at the top.
Throughout their journey to safety, the kid is either carried or handed over to someone else like some ragdoll. And he whines.
The only time he's helping is when he manages to unscrew the latch for the shaft that's filling up with water. I have a hard time with a screwdriver and a ten-year-old can manage without a light and with a cross?
After some more whining, he somehow manages to get himself locked in a cage (and by now you kind of hope it's the end of the road for him) but nope.
What they're doing now:
Conor- Since he's of drinking age now, I suppose he spends his days in some bar retelling the story of how he rescued everyone (we all embellish when we drink) and when not drinking, he may be a cruise director or a call center representative for a cruise line, where he's been written up for scaring the passengers.
Dylan- After Jeffery Eric Anderson stole the footage, he went ahead and produced an Emmy Award winning special and cheated Dylan out of money. He's still trying to break into showbusiness as a director but can't find anyone to work for free on his short films, since Acre was killed.
Robin- A designer for a major automotive firm and only uses one inch of plastic on the cars he designs.