In 1995, Waterworld was quite ahead of its time with the unique concept that dryland is no more. They have been a thousand movies that involve the end of the world crisis,’ yet Waterworld is still alone in its own subgenre.
Kevin Costner is known as the Drifter, a man who roams the open water with his web feet and gills. His knowledge of the seas and the scum who float around make him quite an asset to the right people. When the wrong people chase him down to end his life, they can never seem to capture this man because of his cutting edge sailing habits.
The Drifter visits a floating colony that goes under attack, and upon his chaotic departure, he ends up rescuing a little girl who has a map to dryland tattooed on her back. The bad guys want her, and the Drifter could care less. The ultimate question is, will the bad guys claim their precious cargo, or will the drifter save the day and find dry land.
From my research, Waterworld is considered one of those big-budget busts since it cost about $175 million to make and made about $88 million on a domestic return. Much like many films, they can salvage respectability thanks to a larger overseas audience, which brought this film’s totals to $264 million.
I would assume outside of paying the headliner cast big contracts, the rest of the budget was spent on props and special effects. Don’t fool yourself though, besides one epic battler scene at the beginning and the massive arc explosion at the end, there is much to be wowed with in terms of special effects. The majority of the film takes place on the Drifter’s small floating craft, and except for the contraptions, it’s nothing spectacular.
The critics and audiences are split between whether this was a good film or not. I haven’t seen this movie in decades, and now that I watched it one final time to write this review, it’s safe to say I don’t plan on revisiting Waterworld. 3/10