Making the Grades
In Waterworld's future, the polar caps have melted, flooding the earth. The few survivors lead a miserable life as they search for water, food, and the endless dream of dry land. Kevin Costner plays Mariner, a human that has managed to mutate to the point where he has gills and webbed feet. He trundles along on a gadget-filled boat that enables him to get out of any situation. His weapons are especially handy when the Smokies show up. These are the bad guys -- a group of biker-types that ride old jet-skis.
Costner opens the movie by urinating into a bottle, and then recycling it into drinking water. It's too bad that this is one of the very few details that shows how Waterworld's society survives. Supposedly everyone is suffering from starvation and dehydration, yet these people are in great shape, and have endless energy to fight with one another. The Smokies get lucky and headquarter themselves in an old oil tanker (named the Valdez) that still has gallons of fuel in its holds, allowing them to keep their Jet-Ski warriors mobile. They even have an old airplane that flies great. Even more amazing is all these things must run on crude oil . . .
A tight squeeze into the PG-13 category, Waterworld contains full nudity from the back as a woman gives herself to Mariner, an attempted rape scene with limited nudity, and the suggestion of sexual relations with a very young girl. Continuous disturbances from the Smokies create one violent scene after the next: Eyes are popped out, people are burned to death, and many are shot. The language matches the rest of the movie, with many obscenities and sexual innuendos.
Waterworld is proof that money isn't the solution for everything. Even $200 million can't fix a bad story that lacks the details a good sci-fi demands. Instead the audience is drowned in needless violence and sex, creating a film that many parents will not want even their oldest children watching.