Sunday, January 18, 2009

Now & Then: Waterworld (1995)

Waterworld.  136 mins./177 mins. (unrated).  Directed by Kevin Reynolds.  Written by Peter Rader and David Twohy.  Starring Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Michael Jeter, and Tina Majorino.

For many out there, Waterworld is a joke, viewed in the same light as other expensive film flops like Howard the Duck or Battlefield Earth.  It's got a really bad reputation - an undeserved one.  There is a lot in Waterworld to admire.  The production design and sheer amount of money spent on making a believable world with nothing but water is pure spectacle and a marvel to watch.  The idea is cool - sort of a Mad Max on water.  And Kevin Costner's character is an admirable anti-hero, who at one point throws a girl who can't swim off his boat.  But for every element that Waterworld gets right, there's just as much that it gets wrong.  Dennis Hopper is woefully over-the-top and unimposing as the main villain.  The action set pieces are awesome, but there's really only two of them and they are spaced far apart.  The movie is way too long and drags in the middle.  And though the movie's story has a lot of great potential, the actual execution is less impressive.  I remember liking this one a lot when I was younger, and seeing it again, the cool stuff is still pretty cool, but the flaws are much more noticeable.  As an action movie, Waterworld is above average and much better than its reputation suggests.  I would avoid the extended version though (adding 40 more unnecessary minutes) and just stick with the theatrical version.

Then: ***1/2
Now: ***



At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I saw that movie 6 times. I thought it ruled!!!"


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