Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 8, 2014)
Whatís scarier than a T-Rex? A T-Rex that can live underwater as easily as on land, thatís what!
At least thatís the theory behind 2014ís SyFy Channel action/adventure Poseidon Rex, an effort that offers a new spin on the dinosaur genre. Off the coast of Belize, divers search for long-lost Mayan gold. They set off explosive charges that come with an unforeseen consequence: the release of a long-dormant, massive dino.
A young couple on vacation, Rod (Steven Helmkamp) and Jane (Candice Nunes) come to Belize for some snorkeling. Along with guide Henry (Berne Velasquez), they discover the body of Jackson Slate (Brian Krause), one of the guys who hunted for the gold. Marine biologist Sarah (Anne McDaniels) helps nurse him back to health and he tells them of the Mayan treasure.
All of them agree to go look for it again, but snarls pop up along the way. For one, the baddies maintain a potential threat, and thereís also that pesky man-mauling dinosaur out there. We follow the various adventures and inevitable deaths.
Going into Poseidon, I didnít expect Citizen Kane. Heck, I didnít even expect Jurassic Park, as itís unrealistic to demand feature film quality from a no-budget, no-name TV production like this. I hoped for some decent action and a light, fun time, which I think remained in the realm of the possible.
Alas, not much entertainment results from the thin, tedious Poseidon. On the positive side, it boasts some nice eye candy, as both Nunes and McDaniels look great, and they spend much of the movie in bikinis.
Thus ends the complimentary section of the review, as I canít find anything else about the movie to praise. Amateurishness pervades the project, as virtually everything about it screams ďbargain basementĒ.
Again, donít blame this on high expectations, as I didnít think Iíd get Hollywood-level material on display. Nonetheless, the material shows less skill and talent than I wouldíve anticipated. Actually, the lead actors remain halfway decent and donít embarrass themselves; despite the one-dimensional characters, they offer passable performances.
Folks in supporting roles fare less well, however, and tend toward the awkward/wooden side of the street Ė which matches the quality of the rest of the flick. Burdened with stiff, unnatural dialogue, the script stinks, and director Mark L. Lester finds no method to enliven the material. The story plods and fails to ever boast any adventure or excitement.
And then we go to the visual effects. Just to repeat: I donít anticipate ILM-level work in that regard. Nonetheless, I expect stronger effects than what we see here, as the title creature looks laughable. The dinosaur never integrates with its surroundings in even a vaguely realistic manner, and it always resembles something a 12-year-old created on his laptop over long holiday weekend.
When a monster movie canít deliver a believable monster, it wonít succeed, and that becomes the case for Poseidon Rex. At no point does it find a way to entertain us, as it remains a cheap, boring attempt at adventure.