In a future where Earth is covered with water, the human race struggles to survive on dilapidated boats and makeshift floating cities called atolls. But some still cling to legends of a mythical place called "Dryland". Seeking clues to its whereabouts, the evil Deacon (Dennis Hopper) attacks the atoll which houses young Enola (Tina Majorino) and her adoptive mother Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn). When a mysterious drifter/adventurer known as the Mariner (Kevin Costner) is caught up in their struggle, he finds himself catapulted into an explosive war of good vs. evil with the open sea as his battlefield. Only later will he discover Enola's wondrous secret - a revelation that may change the destiny of all mankind.
At the time this was the most expensive film ever made and it was critically panned. It also appears very derivative, sort of like Mad Max set at sea. Kevin Costner is a 'wooden' actor, but luckily here he doesn't need to say very much so comes across well as the Mariner – and his boat is amazing! The baddie (Deacon, played by Dennis Hopper) is suitably over-the-top, but the woman (Helen, played by Jeanne Tripplehorn) is very wishy washy. For what it's worth, I like 'Waterworld' and find it enjoyable – and I believe the film also made a significant profit in the end, so it can't be all bad. I'll give it 3/5 stars.
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They don't make them like this anymore
- Waterworld review by MP
These days it's hard to imagine *any* of this not being made on a green screen or in a studio. There's very little obvious CGI apart from the glimpse of the big sea beastie for example. There's probably more than I saw in reality but the feeling I got from watching the blu ray was that this was real which makes the film very immersive. Some of the shots and scale are very impressive. It's also a pretty good yarn. The action is continuous and gripping. Some of the plot and dialogue is a bit a saggy but not too bad for a hollywood blockbuster. I think it also handles the tricky setting of a family movie about a post-apocalyptic world pretty well. It doesn't shy away completely from the unpleasant things that would happen in this world but Mr Costner always did the right thing before I needed to reach for the dvd remote. And it doesn't have what you would call a happy ending. The family you think is forging during the film doesn't go on to live happily ever after. The more I think about it the better I think this film is, at least until someone reminds me of something comparable that's better. Finally it gets 5 stars by passing the final test of being requested for a re-watch by the kids.