The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!

20May/130

Most Offensively Stupid Movie Ever: Beyond the Poseidon Adventure

So still on my recent 1970s kick beyondI just watched "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure" (1979) and I can't recall any story ever told which has as little regard for how humans actually behave.

The film utterly loses me at the start.  The captain of a tug boat (Michael Cane), his first mate, and a girl (Sally Fields) his first mate happened to pick up the night before stumble upon a massive upside down "four star" passenger liner, having seen a coast guard helicopter flying away from it.  Now I cannot imagine any sea faring sort (or any human for that matter) coming upon the massive wreckage of a ship, the sea of debris and bodies that must surround it, and not being emotionally overwhelmed when they consider the hundreds or perhaps thousands who must have lost their lives.  The normal reaction would be to look around the nearby ocean for survivors, for bodies, do something of service.  Instead this crew of three immediately decides that the logical thing would be to climb onto the upturned, sinking ship find a way inside, and loot it for all its worth (sorry, "salvage" it).  Now, being that this is the sequel to "The Poseidon Adventure" and that that movie was a tale of people desperately trying (and many of them failing) to escape the very same sinking ship, it's bizarre to think that these three idiots would be trying to get on board and make their way deep inside an upside down, unfamiliar, still on fire/exploding, ship they know is only minutes to hours from sinking completely.  And sure enough they're not even in the ship five minutes before one of the many ongoing explosions prevent them from escaping the same way they came in.  Rather than immediately try to get out they continue their looting.  Flash forward through all the nonsense of finding some trapped folks they end up saving, including a blind man, a murder mystery, and an ongoing battle with Telly Savalas and his crew who have boarded pretending to be medics but really are there to haul out thousands of pounds of guns and plutonium, and most of Michael Cane's extended crew escape, but he's lost his first mate, and all their loot, save an uncut diamond Sally Fields smuggled out in her belly button.  Oh, and now Sally Fields's and Michael Cane's characters are in love, or lust, or something.  So I guess the death of his first mate was worth it after all, Michael Cane certainly betray any sense that it wasn't.

My beef with the movie is that I can never get past the fact that no three humans on the face of the earth presented with this situation would have done what these three idiots gleefully did.  It simply defies everything I know about people.  Sure, one idiot in any large group might potentially put themselves in harm's way to make a few bucks, but here we're talking about almost absolutely certain death: an unfamiliar, upside down, presumably unlit, debris ridden, fire/smoke/explosion ridden, sinking ship.  And so every minute watching the movie I'm silently cursing these idiots and praying for the justice which would be delivered by their deaths.  At best this is a movie focused on a day in the life of three mental freaks, perhaps a-logical sociopaths or something, at worst it's just an awful, unrealistic movie written/created by people who are a-logical sociopaths and think everyone's depicted behavior is somehow normal or believable.  (And don't get me wrong, even "normal" people are capable of tremendous, horrendous thoughts/actions (the Nazis reminded us of that), but even then the evil callousness develops, grows, becomes believable because it fits into an increasingly awful pattern of thought/behavior. )

Q

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