If you ask any die hard disaster movie fan about Intrepid (aka Deep Water) they might laugh and call it a ripoff to The Poseidon Adventure, but in reality, it's a pretty good cheesy movie.
At first, you might be confused since the movie starts out with a shootout during an illegal arms deal in the Ukraine.
Once onboard the U.S.S. Andersonville, Special Forces Agents Alan Decker (Costas Mandylor) and Max Dennis (David Kaufman) are being debriefed by Captain Hal Josephson (James Coburn) when they get an early video chat from Rupert Masters (Clive Revill) a controversial English politician.
Masters offers the two an all expense paid trip to Hawaii on the Intrepid with a catch. He wants them to keep an eye on his daughter Sabrina (Sonia Satra) who's on holiday from school.
Decker doesn't want to play babysitter, but the two end up onboard.
Prior to boarding, Max tells Alan that he's going to teach him how to relax and also how to pick up women, which Alan thinks is kind of funny.
Max proves his point when he tries to strike up a conversation with Katherine Jessel (Finola Hughes) a reporter for an English type of gossip show. At first she thinks that Alan is a ship's stewart and orders him to grab her luggage and then realizes that he's not a crew member. But, she does think he's a dork since he can't utter a sentence to her.
As the Intrepid sets out on her 100th voyage, the passengers are enjoying themselves but up in San Francisco, Capt. Josephson is organizing a secret mission regarding a nuclear warhead that goes wrong.
Due to a problem with the aircraft, the plane flies over the ship and eventually crashes into the ocean, causing a dive team to locate the warhead and try to disengage it. Unfortunately, it goes off and creates a nuclear charged tidal wave.
On the Intrepid, Sabrina's hosting a cocktail party and seconds before the wave hits the ship, there's an attempt on her life and then the ship is capsized.
While the survivors are meeting up with one another, the attempt on Sabrina's life is still on as the bad guys are disguised as regular passengers (eventually they're identified and those that are out to get Sabrina are also Double Agents against one another).
Of course, the special effects of the capsized ship are pretty bad (kind of like the shark in Jaws 3-D) but I think in a way the effects also redeem the movie since the characters have to trudge through flooding passageways as the ship continues sinking.
When I first saw this movie, I thought it was kind of stupid that a shark appeared in the galley where the different groups of survivors appeared. After I thought about it, it's true that sea life would begin to inhabit a sinking ship.
The characters are pretty interesting and I've always thought that Julie McCullough (Cruise Director Hannon) was the best character in the movie. Her character is really the only one who grows during the course of it since she has to go from being perky to leading survivors. As it's pointed out to her, she may be the only living crew member and as such, her passengers come first.
Sure, it might be a cheesy movie, but, it was also good training for director John Putch, who would indeed go on to direct the mini series The Poseidon Adventure a couple of years later.