|Kevin Reynolds Director||previously directed Rapa Nui|
|Kevin Costner Director||previously directed Dances with Wolves|
In this post-apocalyptic world (for once caused by the icecaps melting, not us blowing ourselves to hell and back) small pockets of people survive in small towns that are essentially boats tied together.
|Luke Ka'ili Jr.||Boy|
|See Full Credits|
A distant future vision made in 1995 set in a post-apocalyptic world where the polar ice caps have melted and dirt is now a commodity to be traded. Kevin Costner both starred and produced the film with Kevin Reynolds directing. Despite some success at the box office worldwide, and a large marketing push with the release of the film, Waterworld is seen as one of the largest film disasters in history due to its large budget.
After the success of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Kevin Costner and Kevin Reynolds teamed up again to make Waterworld, it would also be their last collaboration. David Twohy wrote the script citing major inspirations from The Road Warrior for his post-apocalyptic vision.
In the distant future the polar ice caps have melted leaving the majority, if not the entire, world covered in water. The Mariner is a drifter among what is left of humanity, traveling around in his trimaran. In his wandering he finds a human built atoll used to protect those who live there from outsiders and serves as a trading post. The Mariner is trying to trade some of his dirt, now a commodity, only to be discovered as mutant when someone spots his webbed feet and gills. The humans who live at the atoll vote to recycle the Mariner by lowering him into a brine pool.
Just as the Mariner is being lower the atoll is attacked by a gang only known as smokers after being tipped off by the Nord, a gang member posing as a trader. The smokers begin launching over the walls and diving below the walls of the atoll to get in. They are looking for an orphan who lives in the atoll, Enola, who has been known to have a tattoo containing the directions to dry land. Inside the atoll Enola ad her caretaker Helen, who is the atoll's shopkeeper, are trying to escape with Gregor, the atoll's sort of scientist, aboard a hot air balloon. Gregor has launch too early after tripping over the launch lever stranding Enola and Helen.
After the Mariner is able to escape his cage with the help of Helen and Enola he offers them help in return. After escaping the smokers at the atoll the Mariner is very displeased to have the two aboard his trimaran but keeps them around because they saved his life. The three of them are being chased by the Deacon who is the leader of the smokers as well as captain of the Exxon Valdez, the oil tanker risen to provide transport for the pirates.
After a series of run in with the smokes which leave the Mariner's trimaran damaged he finally becomes upset with his passengers but has grown too close to them to let them go. Helen demands to know where the Mariner gets the dirt from that he often trades with, assuming he must get it from dry land somewhere. The Mariner straps Helen into a diving bell and the two go deep beneath the ocean to what is the remnants of Denver to grab some dirt. But while the two are diving Deacon and the smokes board the Mariner's ship, burn it, and escape with Enola.
Helen and the Mariner return to the surface and are rescued by Gregor who takes them to where the remains of the original atoll attack have formed a new one. The Mariner boards a jet ski and locates the Exxon Valdez. He boards the ship to find a celebration ensuing with Deacon proclaiming they have found the map and handing out cigarettes. When the crew is ordered to begin rowing the Mariner reveals himself to Deacon, holding a flare. He threatens to drop the flare into the tanker's oil supply unless Enola is released to him. The Deacon doesn't believe the Mariner will back up his threat and doesn't release her. The Mariner drops his flare down into the oil.
The ship explodes and the Mariner is not only able to rescue Enola but is able to escape thanks to Gregor dropping a rope from his ballon. The Deacon is still alive also and grabs onto the same rope and tries to pull Enola down. Helen throws something at Deacon causing him to fall, still alive though he shoots one of the balloon's lines which causes Enola to fall into the water. As the remaining smokers converge onto Enola, the Mariner is able to bungee jump down at the last moment to take Enola back as the smokers jet skis collide into one another.
With everyone safe Gregor takes some time and is able to figure out the map tattooed on Enola and begins steering his ballon towards the right direction. The all find the dry land, which is part of Mouth Everest, where they find evidence of civilizations that has been there before and the skeletons of Enola's parents. They decide to start their new life here but the Mariner cannot stay. Dry land isn't where he feels at home and so he takes a new boat and sails off.
The original budget for Waterworld was set by Universal at a steep $100 million but due to production setbacks and costs increases the production budget soared to $175 million, a record for the time. The production was also hampered by a hurricane which destroyed one of the more expensive sets. In the Pacific Ocean, using a rig previously used by the film Titanic, primary filming would take place with the final shots of the film shot on one of the Hawaiian islands.
Injuries and mishaps were common on set. Costner as nearly killed when a wind hit his on film boat while tied to the mast. Laird Hamilton, Costner's stunt double for the film, would commute to the set on a jet ski was lost at sea one day when his jet ski ran out of fuel. After hours of being alone at sea he was discovered by the coast guard. Stunt coordinator Norman Howell was struck with decompression sickness after filming an underwater scene and had to be flown to a nearby Hawaiian hospital. Tina Majorino, who played Enola, was stung by jellyfish three different times during the production forcing the nickname of jellyfish candy from Costner.
Despite a decent box office performance in the United States, the large budget of Waterworld made it one of the biggest failures in movie history. However with the addition of foreign box office ticket sales the film eventually went on to make over $100 million. Most reviews of the film were luke warm at best, citing the acting and vision of the film as lackluster, but the action and set pieces of the film to be some of the very best. To this day the film has a somewhat cult status both for some of the better qualities of the film and for the nature of it being one of the biggest failures of all time.