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CAINE VERSES SAVALAS IN 'BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE'

Villains of Beyond The Poseidon Adventure
While not as bad a sequel as you might have been led to believe, BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE is so blasphemous a followup to the classic original THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, it either begs the viewer to stop watching after less than five minutes...

Or, if you can muddle past the muddled fifteen-minute mark, after which, mirroring the first film in having a group of survivors... that didn't follow Gene Hackman the first time... head to the bottom that's really the top of the ship, upturned above water, only with less dangerous tiers, fewer obstacles, and a subplot involving Telly Savales doing what he did best before KOJAK made him a cool good guy...

DVD signed by Shirley Jones
He's the villain here: a nefarious but initially polite and professional ship scavenger opposite from roguish and smarmy yet ultimately intrepid Michael Caine and his nicer, older sidekick Karl Malden...

Both working a grungy boat that the British captain stresses he owes money on. But that's before he sees the same helicopter that just saved the original survivors, and figures there's a bigger boat out there that he... or... they can scavenge...

They meaning three main characters, not two, as perky, bubbly, horrendously miscast Sally Field does her worst SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT imitation from two years earlier, combating with the equally affable leading man in a cutesy, flirtatiously "Girl Friday" fashion: only they lack any and all chemistry, and as a comic relief she's far more annoying than necessary...

Telly's vision above surface SCORE: ***
Though she improves when filling into the background with the usual special guest types that color these kind of Irwin Allen disaster flicks as if an episode of THE LOVE BOAT...

Including a middle-aged Shirley Jones; a young Mark Harmon; a blind Jack Warden; scene-stealer Slim Pickens as an endearingly drunk, bragging Texan millionaire; a grouchy, stubborn and determined Peter Boyle with his meek daughter Angela Cartwright; and sexy moll Veronica Hamel. Their climb to freedom does have suspense despite very few of the characters being interesting enough to care about: leading to the inevitable battle between sea pirates Caine and Savalas with a built-in con and pro: their 11th hour duel is extremely uneventful and anti-climatic and yet, one of the best qualities of BEYOND is that it ends quickly.
Veronica Hamill, Peter Boyle & Shirley Jones YEAR
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