Friday, July 6, 2012

Cool Films With Ships and Boats: Waterworld


Directed by Kevin Reynolds
Written by Peter Rader, David Twohy
★ Kevin Costner

Am I the first one to use the word „cool“ about Kevin Costner’s mainstream 90s blockbuster? Surely not. Still, I feel somewhat split describing this film with a positive adjective. 
The best way to describe Waterworld would perhaps be: hybrid. Hybrid, as in „Not really good. Not really bad.“, quoting my new official rating system. We can see it the other way around too; there are good things about Waterworld, and there are bad things about it. 

The good thing – the cool thing – is the story. A dystopian future in which the world is flooded by water and humans try to survive in small self-built islands, now this is what I call a bingo. Add to that Kevin Costner, whom I (almost) always like, and some really cool props like rustic boats and ships, a lot of junky metal and stuff, and fashion somewhere between Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribean. 
Therefore, as a part of the series „Cool Films with Ships and Boats“, Waterworld definitely deserves the adjective „cool“. 

But there are also things about Waterworld that aren’t so cool. Let’s start with my main concern; the background music. It’s sort of the equivalent of the mad-driving women’s choir in (mostly) 90s Bollywood films. I call it „strings-orchestra-gone-mad“, the Hollywood version that is. You know it from – guess what – 90s Hollywood films. It mostly appears in an „intense“ scene, its favourite feeling to underline being the heroism of the main character(s). This may not be irritating as hell in every scene (it also depends on the musical theme and the sound intensity), but what I usually think is that the scene would have worked so much better with a different stylistic choice.
The strings-orchestra-gone-mad reaches its maximum point of irritatingness in the ending of this film, which is one of the reasons why I wasn’t very pleased with that scene. 
What else wasn’t cool about Waterworld? Well, there are so many things... most of the supporting actors and their roles (especially the villains), much of the dialogue – a lot of things. 

Concludingly (this isn’t a long review), I’d say that Waterworld wasn’t inventive enough, despite its sci-fi content, to get all of my attention. But it’s still a film that I’m glad I’ve seen, mainly because of the topic that interests me much. So it’s really up to you if you are willing to spend your time on this.

The final word:


  1. Interesting take on a movie I still haven't seen, thanks! I was particularly surprised to see it described as a blockbuster. I already knew it was critical bomb, and had the impression it did not do well at the box office either. According to Wiki, it only made a profit once it was released on video.

    1. Well, my sources say it was one of the highest grossing movies of all time:

      Glad you liked this post although you haven't seen the movie.

  2. I remember the budget of the film was out of control, because a storm ruined the sets that had to be rebuilt, the director was also fired. I think Waterworld is what I would call a "guilty pleasure" movie. I think this was when Coster's leading man career began to faulter. I did like Mr. Brooks (2007), which was a good performance by him.

    1. True, Kevin Costner seems to have vanished from the great movies in the past few years.
      Waterworld is a good guilty pleasure to have, I mean it's not completely horrible.
      Thanks for the information :)


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