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Waterworld (1995)

Beyond the horizon lies the secret to a new beginning

Directed by:

Kevin Reynolds

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 130 minutes

UK Certificate: 12

On DVD

Country: United States

Kevin Costner stars as the enigmatic drifter known only as 'the Mariner', at a time when the world has been covered with water from the melted polar icecaps. The last human survivors live on the water, in boats or on floating atolls and other structures, at constant risk of attacks from slavers or 'smokers' (pirate-like gangs which prefer engines to sails). A few still believe in the mythical 'Dryland', and some will do anything to find it.

The Mariner, a human mutant adapted for the sea, is trading at an atoll when prejudiced humans imprison him and sentence him to be 'recycled'. Before the sentence can be carried out, the atoll is attacked by smokers seeking a little girl with a tattoo on her back – reputed to be a map showing the way to Dryland. A woman called Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) frees the Mariner on the condition that he takes her and a little girl, Enola (Tina Majorino), with him. Together they battle their way out and escape. However, Enola is the girl the smokers are seeking, and they won't rest until they find her.

This much-maligned film is actually a fine adventure, full of action and with plenty of great characters. The film was expensive to make, and it looks it, with massive floating sets and impressive stunts. The Mariner's unique boat deserves special mention and will fascinate many. Costner turns in an appealing performance, making the Mariner a character of many layers, and he handles the physical demands of his role convincingly. Tina Majorino as the little girl is appropriately annoying and adorable in turn, while Dennis Hopper makes a fine villain. The moral subtext which underlines the script doesn't detract from the adventure, and the action rarely stops. The film also has a wonderful soundtrack – exotic and emotive.

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It's Got: Probably the most unique and fascinating boat on film. Kevin Costner looking his best.

It Needs: A peek or two into the Mariner’s background

DVD Extras Only the most basic text information is included in the extras. Theatrical trailer, Production notes, Cast and filmmakers biographies. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10

Alternatives:

Mad Max, Total Recall

Summary

An entertaining action adventure with plenty of thrills and some appealing characters, well worth taking the time to see.

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