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Terrible Movie Thursday: Waterworld

Can you believe Waterworld only has a 44% approval rating on Rottentomatoes?

Critics Consensus

Though it suffered from toxic buzz at the time of its release, Waterworld is ultimately an ambitious misfire: an extravagant sci-fi flick with some decent moments and a lot of silly ones.

Now we have to admit

  • There is a lot in this movie that just makes no sense. How is it that these people have modern guns and jet skis, but seemingly no other technology? How do they have the fuel for all this stuff now that all the gas stations are underwater? How do they still have airplanes?
  • Some of the action just looks crappy. I mean, I know it’s the early 90s, but still at least make this look more like an epic action movie and less like Hook.
  • Every time Costner goes full Flipper out of the water I roll my eyes.
  • The dialogue is pretty cringe-worthy. Especially everything that Gregor says.
  • There are a lot of…adult themes that wouldn’t fly in 2019. From the elders basically asking Costner to impregnate their most attractive young woman to Helen whoring herself out so she and her daughter could stay on his ship to Costner then whoring her out to that drifter.
  • The kid actor who plays Enola is awful. I mean, just the epitome of annoying, in-the-way kids in a 90s movie. Every moment she’s on the screen I want to go Vincent Van Gogh to end the misery.
  • The CGI when they go underwater is…oh lord it is bad.

But come on

  • I’m 100% certain that the pitch for this movie was “what if we did Mad Max…but in water!” And that’s the best damn pitch for a movie I’ve heard since Mad Max…but in space.
  • We open this movie with Costner literally drinking his own piss! And this is 20 years before Bear Grylls made that a thing!
  • There’s a fucking boat with four machine guns around the driver’s seat! It might not be a flaming double guitar, but holy shit that’s cool!
  • Kevin Costner is, as always, a gem.
  • Dustin Hopper with a shaved head as a villain was a goddamn look and a half. And then they put him in an eye patch?
  • Hey that weird gunner working for Hopper looks kind of like ohmygodthatisJackBlack!
  • Kim Coates makes an appearance too! As the insane trader they meet while at sea and he’s brilliantly insane, as usual.
  • There are some really creative set pieces, like when the Smokers set a trap by having their guys on the jet skis hiding below water and then dragging a net behind them, but then Costner weighs down one side of their boat to get over it.
  • That last explosion that killed Dennis Hopper when he ran his jet ski into two other jet skis causing a ridiculous explosion. I’m not saying it was the greatest unnecessary explosion of all time…but it was.

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