Rated PG-13 for some intense scenes of action violence, brief nudity and language.
Directed By: Kevin Reynolds
Written By: Peter Rader and David Twohy
Staring: Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dennis Hopper, Chaim Girafi, Tina Majorino, and Kim Coates
Because I haven’t seen it. And I’ve sailed further than most men have dreamed. -Mariner
In a future where the polar ice caps have melted and most of Earth is underwater, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw “smokers,” and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl find dry land
Waterworld is one of the most notoriously expensive films to ever flop. With it’s over-ambitious goals that were predicted to fail, it became the harbinger of boring. An overly confident Costner that arrogantly carried the movie, plagued a constant desire for Mel Gibson in his place and the RoadWarrior to be resurrected, with gils of course.
It’s pretty apparent I’m one of those post-apocalyptic setting junkies. If I see any film has anything to do with mankind trying to survive after disaster, I’m pretty much sold, and in this case I was a huge Costner fan, so I was overwhelmed with excitement despite the warnings friends and fellows movie fans warned against.
The plot itself is incredibly relevant in today’s Global Warming crisis. The United States is wholly preoccupied with the idea of climate change, our glaciers melting, and the human race falling. In Waterworld the polar ice caps have melted and what remains is the films namesake, a world with no land. In it, the only way to drink is to distill your own urine and drink it happily. With desperation the film seems to without it’s own knowledge idolize the Mad Max “Thunderdome” physical appearance, and though entirely on boats and floating apparatus’s, there is that junkyard exotica likeness.
The character’s weren’t entirely banal, but the actors playing them were. Jeanne Tripplehorn can be compelling in the right role, but this love interest, aloof woman with something hide, was played in a way that didn’t carry any interest or mystery. Kevin Costner playing opposite her did not help matters. It was the first film I felt his ego got in the way of his talent. His character was deadpan and dull. Without knowing it, it almost seemed like Kevin Costner had survived Armageddon and morphed into a wicked tough dude with web feet andgils. Dennis Hopper on the other hand, felt like he’d been teleported from an Escape From New York type movie and his villain was really searching for Snake Plissken only to be disappointed in finding his foe to be a web footed Mariner that still thought he was Robin Hood.
There was a lot not to like about Waterworld, but it did have a few redeeming qualities. It was totally sub-par for the money spent on it. The dialogue was less than interesting, but the action was entertaining even if it didn’t always make a ton of sense. In fact, most of the movie rarely made sense, but it’s big budget was successful in the set design. Even if it mirrored Mad Max a little too much, it was pretty phenomenal, and total eye candy that helped pass the moments that were boring or annoying.
Re-watching Waterworld over the years has made me dislike it less. It’s copycat appearance, annoying star Kevin Costner, awkward collaboration, and less than engaging dialogue still aren’t forgivable, but it’s action and some of theexcitement , and the engrossing set design makes it worth watching for a spell while cruising channels. I can’t imagine actually sitting down and watching from beginning to end again, as it is a pretty “blah” movie, but it wasn’t as bad as the hype to hate it was. The Verdict? Waterworld should have done itself a favor and sunk.