Waterworld (1995)

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Waterworld (1995)

Post  BoG on Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:31 pm

In the future, the polar ice caps have melted and most of the Earth is covered by water (inaccurate - the oceans would rise only 20 feet in such a situation).  No specific year is given in the film, but it's probable that it takes place at least a few hundred years in the future, long enough for certain humans to develop minor mutations related to living on and moving in the water. One of these new humans is only known as 'The Mariner' (Kevin Costner). He gets by on his lonesome on his cool, fully functional trimaran, scavenging and occasionally doing a bit of trading at small settlements floating on the ocean. His life becomes more complicated when he's suddenly saddled with a woman (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and a young girl (Tina Majorino). The villains are known as 'The Smokers' - a large gang headed by Dennis Hopper. They're headquartered on an ancient ship which used to be known as the Exxon Valdez. The drive of the plot is that the young girl has a tattoo on her back which is supposedly a map to 'Dryland' - a mythical place which everyone wants to find.
The film's quality or lack of it took a backseat to all the talk about its huge budget when it was released. The budget had ballooned to nearly $175 million by the end of production, mostly due to filming on the water (which doubles all the usual costs automatically), making this the most expensive film of that time (until Titanic in '97). Most of the blame was leveled as Director Kevin Reynolds. There also developed a rift between Reynolds and Costner, who were buddies up to that point. Dennis Hopper himself described the film as merely The Road Warrior on water and that's as good a description as any. Hopper was the go to guy for villains in splashy films at that time, due to his roles in films like Speed (94), but he's just average in this one and uninspired. He spends most of the film seated, a cig between his fingers. There are moments of inspiration in this film, showing us glimpses of how different life would be in such a world, but these are few and far in-between. The most incisive moment, dark in its gallows humor, occurs near the end, involving an old worker deep in the ancient ship and the climactic destruction. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
Watered Trivia: this film was not a box office bomb, just very expensive; it grossed about $88 million in the USA and twice that internationally; however, Costner's next, another sci-fi pic called The Postman (97), was a bomb; the character of "The Mariner" is very similar both in name and ability to the famous comic book character, The Sub-Mariner, who was introduced in comics way back in 1939.
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