Rock solid adventure spectacle with Costner in a (what else?) post-apocalyptic world completely covered in water. He meets with a desperate woman and her child and tries to help them find dry land, but like all these sorts of movies, there's hungry savages creating parallel every step of the way. Pokey-too pokey-at times, and leads to an inconclusive ending, but amazing set-design and dazzling stunt work keep it afloat (no pun intended). There's also a wonderfully amusing turn by Dennis Hopper as the head bad guy.
Waterworld really doesnt deserve all the hate it's getting, it's by no means a great movie because of the over exposition script, some ridiculous scenes, and illogical things happening, but aside from that it is very entertaining with some intriguing ideas, awesome set (pieces), and a ver solid post-apocalyptic movie.
The movie cost a whopping 200 million, which is a massive amount by today's standard and let alone 1995''s standards. 200 million went down the drain, but not completely, as this film isn't a total disaster. However, it sure doesn't satisfy like 200 million dollar entertainment. Production design is top notch, and combined with some good special FX and sets, the money is definetaly on the screen. However, the story's off, and that's probably why the film didn't gross. After a promising battle in the beginning, albeit a little silly, once they're adrift on the mariner's ship, the film drags. The characters don't have any depth, they just do what they do. The smokers, you don't even know why they do what they do. Outside of finding dryland, there's little focus in the plot, and ultimately the parts don't quite add up to something a 200 million dollar budget should deliver.
The only real problem this movie suffers from is that it lacks balance. It tries to be a serious movie about the hardships of life on this aquatic world only to shift gears and become a childish action flick when the bad guys get their screen time. But, there's so much to like here. The movie looks and sounds great with good attention to details and the sets, especially the atoll, are stunning. The story is interesting enough and at times the movie is emotional and funny, so it engages the viewer. I have watched the film a couple of times and I was never bored.
Give Waterworld a second chance people, it really isnt that bad...
EDIT: Waterworld also spawned probably the coolest live show in the world, at Universal Studio's in L.A, the Waterworld show is incredible!
The "Smokers", led by Dennis Hopper as Deacon, are very stylized. In a world with very little resources available anymore to humans, how is it that the Smokers can waste so much oil on all their naughty shenanigans? Just wondering.
It's kind of funny that just about everybody in Waterworld is depicted as a pirate. Given the opportunity to take something, they take it, and that's how they all seem to survive.
The Mariner is not quite human. He's evolved into an icthyosapien, or fish human, with gills and webbed feet. This enables him to swim down to the sea floor and show us what is under the water: lost cities. Is this a warning?
Waterworld is rather unrealistic, but I do like the creativity of it. I was inspired to do a little research to find out if Earth could be that covered with water if the polar ice caps and glaciers were to melt. The answer is a reassuring no, not even close. Sure, some places would go under, but not to the extent of Waterworld.