26 August 2016 | slightlymad22
Far From The Awful Movie People Make It Out To Be
Continuing my plan to watch every Kevin Costner movie in order, I come to Waterworld.
One of the most controversial movies in KC's filmography. Simply because it had the stigma of being the most expensive movie ever produced at the time. A snip by modern standards at $175 million. Universal initially authorized a budget of $100 million, but production costs eventually ran it up to to an estimated $175 million, with KC putting $22 million of his own money into the film, just as he did with Dances With Wolves.
Plot In A Paragraph: In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is entirely submerged, The Mariner (KC) reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.
KC reunites with Fandango and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves director Kevin Reynolds for what should be a slam dunk for the pair of them, but with troubled production from the off, the film was plagued by a series of cost overruns and production setbacks. The script underwent 36 different drafts which involved six different writers, including Joss Whedon who flew out to Hawaii to work on it, he later described it as "seven weeks of hell". Sets were destroyed (The Atoll actually sank too) by three hurricanes, KC, his stuntman, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tina Majorino (who was also drunk by jellyfish repeatedly too) all nearly drowned.
All of that,and then throw in leading man KC's whose marriage fell apart during filming, and when Wyatt Earp opened to empty turnstiles to become his second (third if you count The War) box office disappointment in a row, the critics were gunning for him. Writing that after great success, he was finished, and on his way out. They made out, at 40, he was an ageing gunslinger (think KC would approve of the western metaphor) hearing the footsteps of younger faster trigger men named Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks and Leo Dicaprio.
I know i'm in the minority here along with an ever increasing circle of people who actually enjoy this very under rated movie. I don't think it's fan bias, when I say Waterworld is a thoroughly enjoyable summer popcorn flick, all the performances are good, the action set pieces are impressive and it has a good sense of atmosphere too. Whilst I always end up humming James Newton Howard's score for a while after I have watched it too.
It's not perfect by any means. Locking director Reynolds out of the editing room, KC hacked it to pieces in order to accommodate the two-hour-running-time maxim imposed by the studio, so that corporate could get their investment back.
I'm in the process of trying to track down a fan-edit of the film called Waterworld: Ulysses Cut, which includes all of the deleted scenes. The additional scenes tie up several loose ends left ambiguous by the theatrical release.
Even with all of the above, and opening a week before guaranteed money maker Die Hard With A Vengeance, Waterworld ended the year the 12th highest grossing movie of 1995, with a domestic gross of $88 million.
KC bashers should get over themselves, and start giving George Lucas what he deserves.