Sunday, October 10, 2021


Movie Name:
Year of Release: 1995
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Starring: Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tina Majorino, Michael Jeter, Jack Kehler, Gerard Murphy, Sab Shimono, Leonardo Cimino, Zakes Mokae, Robert A. Silverman, Robert Joy, Jack Black, Kim Coates, John Fleck
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
One of the big budget films to come out in 1995 was Kevin Reynolds's "Waterworld", the other being of course, Renny Harlin's "Cutthroat Island". Whereas the first one actually made out fairly well, the second one has gone down in the annals of the industry, as a massive failure. Rivers of ink at the time were written on the shooting of "Waterworld", which included some expensive natural disasters, not to mention the disputes between Kevin Reynolds and actor/producer Kevin Costner. The film takes place in the future, where the polar ice-caps have melted, forcing the populations to re-adjust to how they live, and even changing the evolution of the human kind itself. The surviving pockets of humanity live scattered throughout the oceans, in artificially constructed atolls, whereas some others have become itinerant voyagers. One of those voyagers is known as Mariner, an amphibian, who travels in his catamaran, from atoll to atoll, trading items he needs, while keeping himself away from any other human contact. When he visits a particular atoll, he comes into contact with a group who wants him to provide a very specific service, something he passes on, while he also gets to know Enola, a young child who seemingly has the map to dry land tattooed on her back. When the atoll is attacked by a series of pirates under the command of the dangerous Deacon, Mariner escapes, taking with him Enola and Helen, her guardian. Deacon also wants that map, and will stop at nothing to get it.
At the time of its premiere, much was discussed about the enormity of the budget that had been spent in order to bring this film to life. Kevin Reynolds, the director, previously responsible for "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" and also "Rapa Nui", manages to successfully bring to life this post-apocalyptic world, which in a way has quite a few similarities with George Miller's "Mad Max", only this time around on water. It's essentially a B-movie with a big budget, however it's deft and concise narrative falters when it comes to characters definition and motivation. For all of Dennis Hopper's villainy, his Deacon has very little to do, the same of which can be said for Jeanne Tripplehorn's Helen, or even Kevin Costner's Mariner. Though all these characters are nothing but sketches, the film does manage to keep its momentum, and Kevin Reynolds does build a compelling world, one where water is everywhere, and people's dreams of finding dry land seem very much like a distant utopia. It's a film with moments of humor, one that doesn't take itself very seriously, and where the adventure is almost puerile, yet not less enticing. Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Michael Jeter, Tina Majorino all create satisfying characters, whereas Dennis Hopper is on overacting mode. The cinematography from Dean Semler is fantastic, as is the production design from Dennis Gassner and score from James Newton Howard. While not a masterpiece by any means, it's nonetheless a film worth watching.