(Review originally written at 17 July 2006)

This movie definitely had potential. You can say that this movie is like a "Mad Max" version of a post-apocalypse world, only set at sea. Only problem is; they made the story look about as least interesting as it can get.

There are several issues with "Waterworld" and the directing and story are definitely two of it. The story itself had definitely potential but there are several problems with it. The concept was good but the story itself is for most part too simple and childish. Of course when one of the main characters of the movie is a child, the movie itself also very easily tends to become a childish one. This is definitely the case with "Waterworld". The movie fails to focus on the good and interesting elements of the movie and it instead chooses to lay the emphasis of the story on the Mariner (Kevin Costner) and his building relationship with Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and Elona (Tina Majorino), which happens to be the least interesting aspect of the entire movie. It makes the movie more of a drama like one, rather than the cool action flick it could and should had been. It also seriously takes the pace out of the movie. The middle of the movie is especially too slow and filled with rather needless sequences and long boring shots of nothing but blue water and a boat. So it's not just a bad, simple, childish story but also bad storytelling and directing by Kevin Reynolds and Kevin Costner.

The movie and the story could perhaps had worked if they had made out to be an interesting one. They firstly could had done this by creating a different main character. Having a character who rarely speaks and who also happens to be a mutant for reasons unexplained in the movie, just isn't a terribly interesting one. The fact that Kevin Costner plays the part also doesn't help much. Nothing wrong with his acting in this movie, after all he rarely says a thing, but its more that he doesn't have enough charisma to play a cool and interesting action hero.

The storytelling feels completely incoherent at times. For instance the main villain of the movie, played by Dennis Hopper, basically only pops up at the beginning of the movie and later again toward the ending and finale of the movie. This happens with a lot of characters. The characters are also all extremely stereotyped and they are another reason why I regarded this movie is a quite childish one.

The villains are definitely a good thing about this movie. The Smokers are a pretty cool bunch of modern pirates. Dennis Hopper is delicious villainous in his role as their leader. When he enters the screen the movie revives but like I mentioned before he is way underused in the movie, which makes his role also not as memorable as many of his others.

After watching this movie you can conclude one thing; shooting at sea is expensive. Appereantly this movie cost $175,000,000 to make but his is nowhere to be seen in the movie. Yes sure there are some big and good action sequences but nowhere or anymore spectacular than any other, less expensive, action-flick from the '90's. To be perfectly honest the movie even looked quite amateur like to me at times but this may also be due to the at times childish story and way of storytelling.

The early special effects are also not really quite convincing enough.

The musical score by James Newton Howard on the other hand is surprisingly good, spectacular and uplifting. Every once in a while Howard delivers a brilliant score. "Waterworld" is one of those scores.

When action occurs on the screen, its definitely a fun and entertaining movie to watch. The movie is just basically your average summer popcorn flick. The action is brought well to the screen and in those sequences the pace is also good and high. It helps to make the movie still worthwhile and also quite an entertaining one. Its too bad that the less interesting elements of the movie drag down the level of the entire movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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