Waterworld is just Mad Max on the ocean, but not just any ocean. What if the polar ice caps melted and the entire world was covered in water? You’d end up with the most expensive movie made at the time since “Nothing’s free in Waterworld.” As major box office bombs go, I’ve known about Waterworld for years due to multiple Simpsons jokes. It’s one of many Kevin Costner passion projects that’s too long and self important for its own good, but that doesn’t make it the absolute worst. Although there might be a problem when Waterworld literally opens with drinking pee.
We follow the nameless Mariner (not Namor the Sub-Mariner unfortunatly). This guy’s an unlikable jerk who drifts from place to place on his intricate trimaran. He also happens to be a mutant with gills that help him breath underwater. Since Waterworld is entirely water, boats and structures are homes, while dirt, paper, or plants are valuable. Since a world like this (however feasible) isn’t practical, everyone wants to get to the fabled Dryland.
The Mariner reluctantly brings the alluring Helen and her talkative surrogate daughter Enola along since the latter possesses a map to Dryland. They just have to deal with jet ski riding terrorists called Smokers lead by an over-the-top one-eyed Dennis Hopper. Regardless of its reputation, I didn’t hate Waterworld. Though it does get ridiculous with all over the place performances, unexplained world building, and a confused tone. I guess I just like the idea of Waterworld more. An all water action packed world with boats instead of cars could’ve been really good in someone other than Costner’s fins. Waterworld wanted to swim, but it sank instead.