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Far From The Awful Movie People Make It Out To Be
slightlymad2226 August 2016
Continuing my plan to watch every Kevin Costner movie in order, I come to Waterworld.

One of the most controversial movies in KC's filmography. Simply because it had the stigma of being the most expensive movie ever produced at the time. A snip by modern standards at $175 million. Universal initially authorized a budget of $100 million, but production costs eventually ran it up to to an estimated $175 million, with KC putting $22 million of his own money into the film, just as he did with Dances With Wolves.

Plot In A Paragraph: In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is entirely submerged, The Mariner (KC) reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.

KC reunites with Fandango and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves director Kevin Reynolds for what should be a slam dunk for the pair of them, but with troubled production from the off, the film was plagued by a series of cost overruns and production setbacks. The script underwent 36 different drafts which involved six different writers, including Joss Whedon who flew out to Hawaii to work on it, he later described it as "seven weeks of hell". Sets were destroyed (The Atoll actually sank too) by three hurricanes, KC, his stuntman, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tina Majorino (who was also drunk by jellyfish repeatedly too) all nearly drowned.

All of that,and then throw in leading man KC's whose marriage fell apart during filming, and when Wyatt Earp opened to empty turnstiles to become his second (third if you count The War) box office disappointment in a row, the critics were gunning for him. Writing that after great success, he was finished, and on his way out. They made out, at 40, he was an ageing gunslinger (think KC would approve of the western metaphor) hearing the footsteps of younger faster trigger men named Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks and Leo Dicaprio.

I know i'm in the minority here along with an ever increasing circle of people who actually enjoy this very under rated movie. I don't think it's fan bias, when I say Waterworld is a thoroughly enjoyable summer popcorn flick, all the performances are good, the action set pieces are impressive and it has a good sense of atmosphere too. Whilst I always end up humming James Newton Howard's score for a while after I have watched it too.

It's not perfect by any means. Locking director Reynolds out of the editing room, KC hacked it to pieces in order to accommodate the two-hour-running-time maxim imposed by the studio, so that corporate could get their investment back.

I'm in the process of trying to track down a fan-edit of the film called Waterworld: Ulysses Cut, which includes all of the deleted scenes. The additional scenes tie up several loose ends left ambiguous by the theatrical release.

Even with all of the above, and opening a week before guaranteed money maker Die Hard With A Vengeance, Waterworld ended the year the 12th highest grossing movie of 1995, with a domestic gross of $88 million.

KC bashers should get over themselves, and start giving George Lucas what he deserves.
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Not nearly as bad as everyone says...
Chromium_51 February 2005
"Waterworld" is one of those movies that everyone would rather passively make fun of rather than take the time to watch. This is unfortunate, because it really is a good movie. Sure, it's borrowing a lot from "Mad Max," but it's not like "Mad Max" was original fare to begin with. It's an interesting take on the genre, with some nice sets and costumes, a great soundtrack, and the coolest boat to ever appear on a movie screen. The script has thoughtfully and intricately worked out a new way of life in a post-apocalyptic world, and the supposed "plot holes" aren't as big as everyone makes them out to be (OK, we never really find out why dirt is so important in the future; so what? Is that enough to ruin the whole movie?).

If anything brings it down, it's Kevin Costner's performance. The brooding, gloomy hero shtick works, but he's still far too serious for a movie like this. If he'd had the good sense to be a little more tongue-in-cheek, it would have helped a LOT. Still, it's not a bad movie by any means, and I really think all the negativity toward it is unnecessary. Enough with all the complaining... just sit back and enjoy it!

8/10 stars.
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NOT the worst movie ever made
reporterman20009 September 2003
I want the Costner bashers to sit down and watch "Rebirth of the Mothra III" on Sci-Fi Channel some time. Then they'll know that they have seen the worst movie ever made.

"Waterworld" is an escapist fantasy/action picture, not unlike the James Bond and Indiana Jones pictures. Costner's performance works on exactly the same level as the Connery/Moore/Brosnan portrayals of 007 and Harrison Ford's portrayal of Indy -- straightforward, grim, stoic, a little mean-spirited, a little cruel, unafraid of dirt, grime, death, or salt water.

It's not perfect by any means. I'm sure Costner hacked it to pieces in order to accommodate the two-hour-running-time maxim imposed by the studio, so that corporate could get their investment back. Now is the time for the extended DVD version; maybe that will explain where all those cigarettes came from, and how the Smokers converted raw crude into gasoline.

7 out of 10. Costner bashers should get over themselves and start giving Michael Bay and George Lucas what they deserve.
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Not bad at all
dale.launer@gte.net29 January 2005
I just had to disagree with the first guy who thought it was simply awful. This is a big budget movie and it looks it. There are a number of metaphors going on in this story - maybe too many. But it really has a MaxMax on the Water feel to it. It's actually pretty fun and like the Mad Max movies - doesn't take itself too seriously.

This was one of those movies that just got creamed by the press because they get very upset when movies cost a lot and in their minds - too much.

Also - Costner was becoming a very big star - and the press loves to buildup stars and once their huge, they love to tear them down. This was a tear down.

Heaven's Gate wasn't awful - but just too slow. This movie isn't awful either, and neither is it slow. And if you're a motorhead - its extra fun. Dennis Hopper chews up the scenery like a famished dinosaur and he's so much fun he makes Kevin's character look a little under-written.
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harrios3 February 2019
Back in the day, it was cool to say this was a bad film. But watch it now. It's class
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Waterworld may not have fulfilled its premise, but it's still great fun.
Li-123 July 2003
*** out of ****

Sort of like a Mad Max meets Indiana Jones set on a planet-wide ocean, Waterworld hit theaters back in 1995 with a surprisingly decent critical reception but unforgiving responses from the masses, resulting in a domestic box office tally just north of half of the movie's infamouse 175 million dollar budget. Ever since, there's been quite a bit of debate over whether the film earned money back on its huge production costs (naturally, the movie's detractors say no, while the fans say yes, and it was a hit overseas and on video).

I'm actually surprised Waterworld bombed as it did in the U.S., given that audiences (myself included) have a predilection for big, dumb, blockbuster fun. Hey, there's got to be an explanation for why Jerry Bruckheimer is cinema's most powerful producer. And it's not as if though word-of-mouth after the premiere killed the movie (Waterworld actually showed very good legs at the box office, considering its somewhat meager opening weekend).

I think part of the critical lashes stems from its budget, which led people to believe this movie would be a flop no matter what. I've even heard plenty of complaints from people that never every buck appeared to be on-screen. These days, you never hear such complaints because movies almost as expensive as Waterworld are becoming commonplace, which annoys me in that most blockbusters these days are packed with CGI as Waterworld was not, thus inevitably it had to be about as expensive as it was (filmed on the water, sinking sets, tough conditions, it's a miracle the movie was even finished).

As most everyone knows, Waterworld takes place sometime in the unspecified future where the Earth has been covered by water from the melted icecaps. Kevin Costner stars as the Mariner, a Mad Max-ish loner on the ocean who's boat boasts an impressive array of sails and devices. An opening scene introduces us to the deadly lifestyle of the open sea, with "pirates" ready to plunder and murder to get what they want.

The Mariner arrives at an atoll (a very large trading post) to trade, encounters some trouble when he refuses to stay behind and impregnate a young woman, and is thus imprisoned (and also discovered to be part fish, it turns out he's got gill slits behind his ears and he's got webbed feet). Just as he's to be executed, he's saved when "pirates" called the Smokers invade the atoll looking for a girl who apparently has a map tatooed on her back that leads the way to the mythical Dryland (whether or not such a myth existed before the girl is unknown). So said girl and her foster mother (Jeanne Tripplehorn) save the Mariner, who promises to take them with him. But being a loner, he doesn't appreciate their company. Meanwhile, the Smokers continue their hunt for the girl to continue the search for Dryland.

Even though Waterworld has a great, if also entirely implausible, premise and a fun story, it's not driven by its script. Written by David Twohy (the genius responsible for sci-fi greats The Arrival and Pitch Black), he shows none of the ear for dialogue he displayed in those aformentioned thrillers. Inconsistency abounds in the atoller's lifestyles, as well as their beliefs. No one (except for the Mariner) is aware that there's ground below the water, but they never seem to question where dirt-which is a rare commodity-comes from. The movie's got all sorts of little problems along those lines, but I don't think they're really worth mentioning.

What makes the movie worth watching is the adventure. The movie's all about the search for Dryland, and the journey for it is an exciting and thrilling one. Spectacular action sequences abound, from large-scale battle sequences to boat chases. In fact, the action is the movie's highlight. Director Kevin Reynolds' has an eye for staging and filming fight scenes and gun battles, delivering all this action with plenty of high-energy flair and virtuoso stunts. The attack on the atoll, an eleven-minute setpiece, was 1995's second most thrilling action sequence (right behind the Battle of Stirling Bridge in Braveheart). Also equally thrilling is the climactic battle aboard the Smokers' tanker, which displays some of the largest pyrotechnics I've ever seen.

To give the adventure an extra boost, the film gives a genuine attempt at character development and actually comes off not half-bad. Kevin Costner's basically aping Mel Gibson with his own rendition of Mad Max, and while playing a part man/part fish is pretty ridiculous, I'd have to say he's quite sincere and convincing in the role. I'm not the world's biggest Costner fan, but I'll be the first in line to say he's sorely underrated as an actor. Tina Majorino is a bit annoying as the cute girl, and I find it rather baffling that her character has Chinese characters tattooed on her back, even though she's clearly caucasian. Dennis Hopper is a hell of a lot of fun as the Deacon, head of the Smokers, playing his role as both villain and comic relief (he even gets in a priceless scene with a fake eye). But faring best of all is the gorgeous Jeanne Tripplehorn as the requisite love interest. I've always been a big fan of hers, and while I wouldn't call this a great performance, she's full of energy and vitality as the tough, strong-willed heroine who doesn't give in to demands so easily.

One of Waterworld's biggest flaws is the generally cheesy acting from the supporting cast. Most everyone in this movie has a different accent (except for the leads, of course, who are distinctly American), which I assume was meant to give the flavoring of variety, but it makes the delivery of the already silly dialogue twice as silly.

That problem aside, I found myself perfectly open to Waterworld's invigorating action and adventure. There was a lengthier version shown on network TV in the film's broadcast premiere, which I thought made improvements on both plot and pacing (the theatrical release runs a fast-paced 136 minutes, and I think the network version is actually almost forty minutes longer). Wish I'd taped it, but hopefully it'll end up as a special edition release on DVD.
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20 years later, it has aged well and is better than most sci-fi coming out these days
vithiet29 December 2018
Ok, it was a financial disaster. So what? The film itself may have a few too many cliches but is not bad; I'd say it is actually very enjoyable for sci-fi fans.
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sadly overlooked
geoffbeneze4 March 2008
it's a shame so many people spent their time running their mouths rather than watching the movie.

The story isn't new (what story is?) but its' well done, BIG color, BIG scenes,a touch of serious, a touch of humor, clear cut good guy, clear cut BAD guys with a few "grey guys" thrown in the middle.

Costner is always a variable. When the right script hits, no one is better, otherwise it's pretty much a monotone.

FORTUNATELY, this is the kind of script where the dead pan, monosyllabic Good Guy works just fine.

It's a shame the "experts" (i.e. the critics who create nothing) trashed this one. Even if it were the worst movie ever made, Costner would have been contributing more the "creative world" than ANY critic will in their entire lives. geoff beneze
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One of my all time favorites-stimulating to watch the incredible props and great actors.
margmclane20 April 2005
I can see this again and again. Music score- wonderful! Reminds me of Thomas Newman's style, (Road to Perdition) but not him. He's got the sound of happy water down! My favorite part is the ingenious mechanisms used on the big boat/ catamaran type, the workings of the atoll-so creative. There are many lines & terms that stand out for me...." not for sale, not for sale?!" "This wee orchard" is a 1-lemon bush-tree in a pot. Tina Majorino, here a small girl, is a strong, memorable character. Her bond with the main character, the mariner, gives one a good feeling, one of hope about what's possible for the "walking wounded" among us. Dennis Hooper uses his voice to the max, to bring so much interest and color into the picture. The society on the big tanker makes me continue to wonder, to stretch - what would really happen, what would people be like, after generations had gone by, and overcrowding was a problem. Great actors, all. Interesting plot, cool props. Makes one think, laugh, wonder.

RE: All the junk I've heard about this movie, and it's lack of promotion - I think its the non-viewers that have lost out.
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Underrated action movie with some very funny scenes
smlewis-13 July 2004
There is no point going through this film and trying to make all the science fit. The scientific fact has been stretched to breaking point. I found this a very enjoyable experience with some of the best comic strip bad guys in any movie. Costner plays a likable, although traditional, nomadic hero taking care of no 1. Fortunately, there isn't really a love element in the film to spoil it too much. This film has numerous memorable scenes that verge on the hysterical including the oars coming out of the oil tanker, the dropping of the match into the oil tanker and Costner's bungie jump to save the girl. Great stuff. I can't wait for the producers to make a sequel.
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First Rate Action, Adventure Movie Set In One Of The Most Unique Places Ever
85122213 September 2016
Greetings from Lithuania.

I always liked "Waterworld" (1995), despite of its cult classic status of one of the most unsuccessful movies ever. You have to give a credit to those who envisioned and created this movie simply for the concept - how many movies have ever been made completely in the sea (which you can literally feel in every scene) and with this budget, which was the biggest at the time? How many movies have sets THIS good?

Sure, "Waterworld" has some flaws (who doesn't?), and the biggest of them for me was always the main villain. As good as Dennis Hopper is, he was misused in this movie, and he doesn't even hint at being sinister - he is just way, WAY over the top in every scene, and most of his lines felt flat. And that's the only weak point in this amazingly looking action flick.

Overall, "Waterworld" is a superb action, adventure sci-fi flick set in absolutely unique place (even to this day). It has amazing production values, great action scenes, super cool Kevin Costner and a great MacGuffin (a way of setting a story). Still, a great flick.
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spectacular, mad max on water
tanmarktx28 September 2003
"thanks" to some false news reports about people walking out on this great movie during prerelease screenings and about the sinking of the set, it was doomed before it was released this is not a "Citizen Kane" or a "Das Boot", obviously, but it's an extremely entertaining movie with a great story and awesome shots the same movie with someone other than Kevin Costner would have made 3 times the money. to bad peoples ill feelings towards Costner, didnt let them enjoy this movie
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lots of action, little reality
helpless_dancer25 March 1999
This is an unpopular movie, and I don't see why it is so. Admittedly, it is unbelievable, but so are James Bond films. There was enough action in this one to keep thriller buffs going all the way through. Costner did a good job portraying a lonely vagabond in a crazy, violent world. Dennis Hopper, as usual, was an effective villain; he kept me laughing all the way with his insane antics, and his stupid henchmen. I have to wonder, however, if the full nude shot of the girl was really the actress I had been watching. With clothes on, she didn't look all that well endowed. Not a bad movie, really.
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strange but good
cat_casse5 November 2001
I found the entire movie held my interest. Maybe it is just because I'm a sucker for strange movies. I dont know if it was the plot so much that kept me watching, but I think it had a lot to do with the atmosphere. It made me think and wonder about a lot and that's the kind of movies I enjoy.
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Not all washed up
Ms H19 February 1999
I only just saw this movie for the first time the other day and was surprised that it was pretty good, because I had heard so many bad things about it. From now on, I will not be taking public opinion so seriously and will watch anything with a promising premise and good actors.

Tina Majorino was, as always, (see "When A Man Loves A Woman" and Corrina, Corrina") believable. It amazes me how many tears this child can summon and I still believe each one of them.

Kevin Costner wasn't really anything special. I had just seen The Postman the week before (which prompted me to watch Waterworld), and he seemed to me to be the same character. I could go on and on about comparisons, but I'll leave it at that. Although, I have to let you know there was a strange deja-vu thing happening between plot points and character developments.

Jeanne Tripplehorn was quite convincing. I thought their tans were all apt considering the habitat of the characters, but a bit overdone.

The most disappointing thing for me was how the film turned from a unique, (pre-Postman) fairly intelligent plot into a typical action film with explosions and chases. There were explosions toward the beginning that were a little overdone, but I felt they were necessary to introduce us to the Smokers and to Dennis Hopper's character. This film could have turned out quite well, if the last few scenes were completely re-written.
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unclezoltan13 September 2017
If you're looking for something to satisfy that Mad Max tooth, this will definitely be the film you're looking for. Although it hasn't aged well making it not as graphically pristine as up to date cgi, the film carries loads of practical effects proving it's intricate worth. Sometimes it feels a bit empty but what can we expect from a world that has been covered up by water leaving sparseness. Everything is brilliant in this film from set design to the acting. The makeup is a little shoddy and the sound is very average with a backup for an ordinary adventure soundtrack but overall it is worth the watch!
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One of those Movies
nowego11 May 2017
This is one of those movies you will either love with a passion or do the opposite and hate with a passion, there is not much in between.

If you are a Kevin Costner fan, which admittedly I am, you will love it. The addition of Dennis Hopper doing his thing just adds to the fun of the movie, and it is fun if you keep and open mind.

There is lots of blood and guts, action, explosions and gun fire, but it is fun as well with many laugh out loud moments.

This is a movie I have been able to watch over and over, it just does that for me and the list of movies that do that for me is not overly long.

From what I have read, this was a critical failure, well that can be said for a lot of movies crapped on by critics. It does't mean it is a bad movie.

One of my rules I have adopted is, if it is a critical failure it will in all probability be something worth watching.

7/10 for me, easy to give it higher, but 7 will do.
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The $200 Million Dollar Roger Corman Film
MadReviewer30 August 2001
I'll admit it: I liked "Waterworld" . . . or parts of it, anyway. No, "Waterworld" is not exactly Shakespeare -- for that matter, it's not exactly James Cameron, either -- but it hits a certain "Mad Max/Road Warrior" vibe that's moderately cool, and it provides a handful of decent thrills. Should two hundred million dollars been spent on this flick? Probably not, but I'll ask you this: Does it matter? If you only have to plunk down three bucks to rent a movie, does it really matter what that movie's budget was, provided that you were at least slightly entertained?

"Waterworld" is the story of the Mariner (Kevin Costner); a tough, grizzled loner who roams the seas of post-apocalyptic Earth. The polar icecaps have melted, flooding the world, and land has become little more than a legend. During his travels between the tiny man-made islands that comprise the remnants of civilization, the Mariner meets a woman named Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and a small girl named Enola (Tina Majorino) who claim to have knowledge -- or at least a cryptic map -- of where to find land. Of course, a rowdy gang of pirates known as the Smokers also are aware of the fact that Helen and Enola have this knowledge; so, under the guidance of their mad leader Deacon (Dennis Hopper), the pirates try to hunt down the two. Faced with his one slim chance of ever finding land falling into the hands of complete madmen, it's up to the Mariner to protect Helen and Enola -- and ultimately, to try and defeat the Smokers -- if he wants to keep his dreams and himself alive . . . .

The premise of "Waterworld" is interesting enough; I like the fact that the film actually tries to show (at least in the opening scenes) how people would survive in a world flooded by salt water. There's some cool flashes of originality in here regarding what the world would be like -- for example, the fact that ordinary dirt has become so valuable as to become the standard of currency -- but unfortunately, that originality gets ignored the second the action starts rolling halfway through the film. Overall, the script isn't terrible -- however, it's quite predictable. For example, the first part of the film is spent explaining painfully how there is no more land, and how it's just a myth . . . gee, wonder what our heroes will find towards the end of the film? A couple of twists spring readily to mind (for example -- there genuinely is no more land, or dry land can be found far beneath the sea in domed cities, like some kind of "Atlantis", perhaps) -- one such twist would've been nice to see. While the story does have its good moments (particularly any scene involving Dennis Hopper), it's too formulaic to be called exciting. Nice? Yes. Exciting? No. The few good scenes are very, very good, but there's a lot more average -- or even dull -- scenes spread out between the sparse fun.

The most puzzling part about "Waterworld", though, is the direction. The film is loaded with action, and I'll give credit where credit is due -- nearly all of the action looks great, especially since all the fights and the action take place out on the water. But for $200 million . . ? It doesn't look THAT good. I know a significant part of the film's budget was spent on floating sets out in the Pacific -- but the camera cuts and shot selections are usually so quick and tight, it's hard to notice the background. There's no long, slow shots basking on the glory of these expensive sets. "Waterworld" is filmed exactly like a typical action movie, which is okay, I guess, but it completely fails to take advantage of its resources. Quite strange, to say the least.

As for the cast . . . it's a mixed bag. Kevin Costner does a very good job as the grizzled Mariner, playing against type as a hardened, almost amoral anti-hero. It goes against the good-guy grain that Costner has typically played in most of his films, and Costner seems to relish the change. Dennis Hopper is terrific as the villainous Deacon; the role is completely over-the-top and absolutely ludicrous at times . . . in short, the part is perfect for Hopper. His lines simply drip with withering sarcasm, making him a quite memorable screen villain. The rest of the cast . . . ehh. Nobody does a horrible job, but nobody's particularly memorable, either.

Should "Waterworld" have been a $200 Million Dollar Dud? Probably not. In a perfect world, "Waterworld" would've been a $20 Million Dollar Sleeper, directed by John Carpenter and starring Rutger Hauer . . . or a $2 Million Dollar Cult Classic, directed by Roger Corman and starring Lorenzo Lamas. However, this isn't a perfect world (as evidenced by the fact that Freddie Prinze, Jr. keeps making movies), so "Waterworld" is forever branded as the bad film with a runaway budget. Too bad. "Waterworld" is by no means a great movie, but it has some entertaining moments, enough to warrant at least a rental . . . and some frequent pushes of the fast forward button. Grade: B-/C+
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How to boil water
lwjoslin25 September 2002
Recipe for "Waterworld":

1) Take "The Road Warrior." Add water.

2) Replace Mel Gibson with Kevin Costner (which would be about like removing Errol Flynn from "Robin Hood" and replacing him with... well, Kevin Costner).

3) Give the Feral Kid a sex change operation and some manners, taking care to swap his lethal boomerang for a box of crayons.

4) Take the Gyro Captain out of his copter and put him into a balloon.

5) Stir in generous but subtle portions of liberal eco-propaganda: without using the term "global warming," have it understood that the world is flooded because of something awful "the ancients" did.

6) Add a dash of oil by making the villains a marauding gang of oilmongers living in a certain famous oil tanker.

7) Add a simultaneously anti-religious AND anti-technological zest by making sure the villains' leader (Dennis Hopper) has a pseudo-religious name (the Deacon) and gives "sermons" about "progress" and "development."

8) Add a smoky flavor by calling the villains "Smokers," not only because of their use of speedboats and jet-skis, but because of their consumption of cigarettes, which were Clinton's drug menace du jour at the time. (Exactly where these cigarettes come from, in a submerged world where no tobacco grows and paper is viewed with awe, is anybody's guess.)

9) Finally, add a pinch of Oriental spice by having the tattoo-map to Dryland rendered in Asian ideographic characters--another implied rebuff to "evil" Western culture.

10) Set oven temperature to 450 degrees and incinerate $175 million.
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An instant Hollywood Classic
cooldudestefan19903 October 2018
This movie being flop at it's time, and still many people hating is the very reason we have ultra-trash movies nowadays. So these kind of people should not complain about present day crappy, repetitive movies. This movie is one of the greatest I've ever seen, extremely entertaining with comic-style villains. It is the kind of movie that really makes an effort to take you to the world it is supposed to be happening in. Now we have Medieval movies like King Arthur and Robin Hood etc. that look like they are performing in a small set, costumes and dialogues made by school going theater artists and noobs. Given the reduced capability of CGI and computer prowess etc. this movie is great. People that complain about "Science" should watch NatGeo or Discovery, this is a matinee movie and a great one at that, the kind of movie that makes you fall in love with Cinema and Hollywood. An instant Hollywood Classic for me.
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Why all the hate
sam_bobmcgonagle1 October 2020
I've seen this so many times over the years and have never understood why it has been slated. I love it every time I watch it.
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An Expansive Alternative Action World Perspective
tabuno20 January 2019
22 November 2009. This enduring action adventure sci fi epic considered a megamillion dollar flop still resonates with action, adventure, humanity and inhumanity that is well paced, well scripted, and compelling in its music and action. This balanced perspective on a world undergone global warming in a water world that contains all the action of the MADMAX series (1985), the post-apocalyptic world of THE POSTMAN (1997) that would be released two years later, but not quite the sweeping vision and in-depth authenticity of DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990). Kevin Costner retains his standoffish male figure and in some ways by the end of the movie retains his independence and differences in the face of nature even more so than most of his similar movies. Under-rated, this movie appears to continue to re-run in syndication, a testament to its value when other of its ilk have long since been forgotten.
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Underrated by far!
MikoLaas20 August 2017
I recently watched this movie again after seeing it as a kid.

What appeals to me are the fine attention to details and things that actually make sense logically - something what lacks in soooo many of the modern sci-fi flicks.

It's well thought out and delivered, I was thoroughly enjoying this movie as a die-hard Sci-Fi watcher, I believe it to be better than 90% of the modern post-apocalyptic movies.

Give it a shot, I do not get the prejudice of people when it comes to this movie, it's immersive and enjoyable because it does not break your immersion with stupid logic-holes or over-done CGI.
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tedg26 November 2000
I can find something to like in almost any film. What's great here is the trimaran. Not all the stupid gizmos, but the boat itself. It's great. And Tripplehorn is appealing. But that's not her butt in the nude scene.

Overall, this film stinks, but in truth, it's no worse than dozens of blowemup hits. The thing that killed it is Kostner's attitude. In other stupid fantasies, the hero looks at us and winks `look at me make a fool out of all of us, but it's just fun.' Arnie, Mel, they all goof on themselves.

But Kostner in real life takes himself so seriously that as an actor he couldn't escape playing it straight. As the mariner, his seriousness here is offputting. Combined with his similar hubris in the industry, this project was doomed.

The real interesting story behind this film is the story of how it got so broken at the studio level. After Sony bought Columbia, expecting miracles, another crew of Japanese bought Universal. We've made a special study of this case. The real problem here was the Japanese top-down management style. These guys just got snookered, plus they made some heavy false economies by going outside the film industry for key elements of the marine sets. That's how the trader colony sank.

After waterworld, this Japanese management left the industry with their tail between their legs, selling to the Canadian booze guy.
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One of the best Sci-Fi films of the 90's and for all time!!!! Greatly misunderstood epic storytelling at its best!!!
cvhilts21 March 2000
Waterworld has been one of my favorite Sci-Fi films since my first viewings of it in 1995. Most reviews of Waterworld I read are quite favorable, yet it still seems like the movie has a bad rap. It seems some cannot forgive the film for going so ridiculously over budget. I say who cares how much it cost, it is not my money!

Hundreds of years ago the Earth was covered in water when the Polar ice caps melted due to global warming. The Universal studios opening logo is used to illustrate this, to spectacular effect. This is the setup for the film. At the heart of this tale is a search for humanity, and a new world the mythic "dryland".

The fantastic settings are unlike anything I have ever seen on film, and the action sequences are breathtaking. By filming almost exclusively on water the costs were excessive, but the film would have looked far less spectacular if they cut corners. An example is the Atoll set. Sure they could have built this as a miniature, but it never would have been convincing. Going for broke (quite literally) with the settings is what makes the films look so amazing.

The performances in Waterworld far exceed those of most Sci Fi films. Kevin Costner as the Mariner is at his best, playing an animal bent on one thing survival. Slowly he humanizes before our eyes thanks to the characters of Enola and Helen (played by Tina Majorino and Jeanne Tripplehorn). The love that develops between the three characters is believable, only because of the excellent performances. Dennis Hopper is at his psycho scene stealing best in Waterworld. He brings to the character of The Deacon the humor that is inherent in all of his roles. When he is on screen as the "religous" head of the motley band of Smokers the film is at its best. The Deacon believes in Manifest destiny and wants to do nothing more than find dry land and knock down trees, and build a golf course in the name of progress. Scenes between Tina Majorino as Enola and Hopper's Deacon are mind blowing. Hopper plays these like a bad Uncle you would never entrust your child with.

Some things are explained in better detail on the network television airing by ABC, which restores nearly 1 hour of material. To have a complete understanding of the film and how great the story is, that version is a must. Yet the theatrical version is spectacular, with a wonderful heart that I fear is to often missed. If you have not seen Waterworld you are missing one of the best of its time. If you have, well watch it again free of any bias, you won't be sorry.
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