Future inspired apocalyptic films, we have seen quite many over the years. While some of them may not bring anything unique to the table, there are some films that dare to take chances and go in a different direction. One of those films that comes to my mind, is of course Mad Max 2 - The Road Warrior. Directed by George Miller, this film continue the story of Mad Max ( played really well by Mel Gibson ) who had his child and wife killed, now drives along the highways, trying to survive. The Road Warrior is not only a fantastic looking apocalyptic film, it also have some really great characters as well. Especially two characters that i have to mention, and let´s begin with Wez, the brutal leather-clad biker, who have no remorse for anyone, and kill anyone who gets in his way. This performance from actor Vernon Wells is absolutely amazing, and this is without a doubt his best acting performance in any film that he have done. The other character that comes to my mind, is of course the evil leader The Humungus, played by Swedish actor Kjell Nilsson. The Humungus feels like the last person you want to meet at a gas station. This guy is not only massive, but he also have a very cool look. This film will be 40 years next year, and even until this day, The Road Warrior is still one of the best films in this genre. Another film that also brings up the apocalypse in a cool way, is the 1989 film Cyborg with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Directed by Albert Pyun, this film manage to combine apocalyptic martial arts and some fun action scenes as well. Cyborg is the choice for your home cinema, if you just want to see an entertaining 80´s action film, with martial arts and some cool characters included. Let´s go back to the summer of 1995, and i am sure a lot of you are thinking about the action comedy Bad Boys. But there was actually one film back then that did have a big hype in media, and in news papers. And that is the post-apocalyptic action film Waterworld. This was supposed to be the biggest box office hit that summer, and the film was seen as a box office failure in America. Luckily the film did better overseas, and did really well on VHS as well. Kevin Costner fighting in a futuristic world where there is basically no more land left, and everyone tries to survive in the ocean. I have not seen this film in many years, and since this film is turning 25 years old this summer, i thought it would be nice to see the film again, to see if it still holds up today. Is Waterworld still a fun action film, or has this film aged too much within these years ?
In the year of 2050, as a result of the sea levels rising over 25,000 feet every continent on Earth is now underwater. The remain of the human civilization live on ramshackle floating communities known as atols, having long forgotten about living on land. People believe that there is a mythological " Dryland " somewhere in the endless ocean. The Mariner ( Kevin Costner ), a lone drifter, arrives on his trimaran, to trade dirt, a rare commodity, for other supplies. The attol´s residents see that the Mariner is a mutant with gills and and webbed feet. They decide to drown him in the recycling pit. Just then, the attol is attacked by the Smokers, a gang of pirates seeking a girl named Enola ( Tina Majorino ) who according to the Smokers leader Deacon ( Dennis Hopper ), has a map of Dryland tattooed on her back. Enola´s guardian Helen ( Jeanne Tripplehorn ) frees the Mariner, to ask him to help her and Enola. They escape on the open sea, but the Smokers will not give up until they have captured Enola.
If you were a teenager like me back in 1995, then i guarantee you will feel some nostalgic feelings watching Waterworld again. This feels like a true summer blockbuster film, that has a bit of everything for apocalyptic film fans. You have the massive battles on the ocean, between pirates and our hero Mariner, and you have some great looking action scenes as well. You can sense that this film has to be inspired by the classic Mad Max film The Road Warrior, but takes place on the ocean instead. Kevin Costner gives a performance that actually works well with his character. He may seem ignorant at times, and i suppose he is, since he is only thinking about trading for his own benefit. And considering how the world have turned in the future, it is not hard to understand why he is behaving this way. As the film goes on, you realise that he may not be a completely selfish bastard after all, but that he does have a good heart as well. Legendary actor Dennis Hopper is one of the highlights in this film as the character Deacon. He is one of those evil characters who have no remorse, and knows exactly what he wants, no matter if innocent lives will be lost. Dennis Hopper clearly had fun making this film, because you get a sense that he enoyed playing this evil character. I have to mention actress Jeanne Tripplehorn ( that i guarantee Tom Cruise fans remember from the film The Firm ) as the character Helen. She is definetely the one who give Mariner hope, as he struggle to keep himself alive and protect the few ones that he cares about. Jeanne manage to give a performance that feels natural, with a futuristic portrait of a woman in her situation. I know that this film was not the big box office hit that a lot of people expected, but that does not change the quality of this film. Waterworld is a film made for fans of the Mad Max franchise, and for fans of Kevin Costner as well. Director Kevin Reynolds ( who also directed the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves ) have found a way to blend futuristic action with a very different location than most films in this genre. And he clearly wanted to make a film that felt majestic, and you can sense that in the beautiful ocean scenes. I would not say this is one of the best films from Kevin Costner, but a nostalgic fun 90´s film that still will entertain all ages in many generations. 25 years may have passed, but Waterworld is still a film that have entertainment value. A great choice for this summer, if you want to experience nostalgic films.