Film Reviews:


(Kevin Reynolds, US, 1995)

Waterworld - it became a word before it was a movie. And that word meant disaster. Or so the US press would have us believe. Like the sad blind sheep that they are, the English tabloids dutifully followed suit. Could the film Waterworld really be as bad as the word that preceded it? In a word, "No". And, to be fair to some individuals in the press, once they had actually SEEN the film they realised that $200 million or no $200 million this is a great piece of popcorn. In a distant future Earth, where the polar ice-caps have melted and everybody lives on man-made atolls, the Mariner (Kevin Costner) fights a one-eyed baddie (Dennis Hopper) over possession of a child who has a tattoo showing the way to legendary dry land.

Costner will always be Costner in his limited way but even he is fun to watch, playing with his romantic, macho image - gills girls? Hopper plays the villain just for laughs and Jeanne Tripplehorn, as the tattooed girl's mother, is Costner's attractive co-star. Waterworld doesn't deserve any praise for originality, but how many truly original films appear in even a whole year? No, director Kevin Connor takes a formula and runs with it. The full-size sets are impressive, and combined with the attention to detail that makes all the hardware totally realistic, much of that huge budget can actually be seen on the screen.

The story is a classic quest adventure and there are few surprises along the way, but you always have the feeling that the writers knew what they were playing with and so this falls flat far less than it's summer box office rivals Batman Forever and Judge Dredd. It's humour is also a saving grace. It is funny. Where Batman Forever tries to be clever/dry funny and fails completely and Judge Dredd is dominated by that goddam pain-in-the-ass sidekick to get on EVERYONE'S nerves, Waterworld succeeds in inducing belly laughs. Of all of 1995's blockbusters Waterworld is the best, even if it is only mindless big screen entertainment.

Rob Dyer

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