In the future (or like next Tuesday the way shit is going) the polar ice caps have melted flooding the planet. Folks now live on floating islands of scrap called atolls and hold a belief that a mythical “Dryland” must exist out there…somewhere. Enter The Mariner (Kevin Costner); a dirt trader (yeah…dirt is a commodity because…water reasons…) and gill havin’ mutant to the atoll. Very, very long story short; pirates lead by Deacon (Dennis Hopper) invade the atoll looking to kidnap a girl named Enola (Tina Majorino) who just so happens to have a map to Dryland tattooed on her back, and it’s up to Mariner to protect her while hopefully leading the remnants of humanity to Dryland.
I’m not going to tell you that Waterworld is a perfect film; it’s bloated as all fuck, is obviously a vanity project for Costner, and is derivative of the Mad Max franchise to the point of distraction…it also isn’t the Kong-sized piece of shit the world would lead you to believe either. The cast is strong, the action scenes are simply breathtaking, and the world of the film is full realized with impressive sets and effects…and since this was the most expensive film ever made at the time it damn well better be!
If revisiting the film, or experiencing it for the first time, doesn’t help you have some sort of appreciation for Waterworld, the extras on the Arrow Video release may just do the trick. Included are an amazing feature length “making-of” documentary that covers the film in impressive detail, an archival look at the film’s production, an exploration of apocalyptic Hollywood blockbusters by film Critic Glenn Kenny, image galleries, and a collection of trailers for the film. Also included are the longer European TV cut (dubbed the “Ulysses Cut”) that restores excised shots and dialog, as well as the US TV cut that runs an absurd forty minutes longer than the theatrical cut and contains an ocean (shameless) of alternate footage!
While in no way a masterpiece; Waterworld is never-the-less an action packed sci-fi/post apocalyptic fracas that I dare say is waaaay better than you remember it being, and this release highlights that fact perfectly!
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