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YMMV: The Postman
  • What an Idiot:
    • Holnists in general. Razing settlements, enslaving people and destroying any pocket of civilisation left, so you can prove how macho you are, only to be killed by other macho guys for their trouble. The sole fact that their actions are only possible because they are using things produced by the civilisation they destroyed is enough. On the other hand, they are described as not being the brightest bunch.
    • The robbers from the first chapter never even bothered to fully explore their own turf. This left the postal van intact. The same applies to the people of Oakridge, who were living in part of pre-war Oakridge and it took Gordon to get them new loot, sixteen years after the Doomwar.
    • It's about fifteen years since last bullet was produced. Survivors still rely on firearms, not even bothering to give bows or crossbows a try. And they are painfully aware how irreplaceable any bullet is. Gordon himself lampshades this.
    • Sure, why not take those precious medications to get high, instead of, you know, use them as prescribed.

  • Audience-Alienating Premise: It's hard to explain the movie's premise in a way that makes sense within a standard 30-second television ad; it's somewhat unintuitive to think of postmen as charismatic action heroes.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: When the Holnists throw stones at a man for switching out Sound of Music.
    • Bizarrely, this is meant to have a point. The Holnists are almost all conscripts and thus are not the psychopaths that you might initially think.
    • Also can be viewed as a Mythology Gag (the Augments in the novel) or a Take That. The film shown: Universal Soldier.
  • Critical Backlash: Upon release, it was shot dead in the water. Nowadays, it's felt that despite the 3-hour length and slow pacing, it's not as bad as the initial reaction made it out to be. The writer of the original novel liked it a lot, in contrast to most audiences.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: General Bethlehem might be a complete monster and sociopath, but he's also savvy enough to command his army without much fuss.
    • Branding new Holnists at first looks like nothing more than an initiation ceremony. But when you think about it, it's a perfect Slave Brand. The "conscripts" can't escape by running away, because wherever they go, they will always be identifiable as a Holnist. An "ally" of the Holnists would turn them in for desertion, and everyone else hates Holnists enough to kill them on sight.
    • It's heavily implied that each time a new group of men is conscripted, they go through the "not enough chairs" procedure, so every single time one of them will be executed for disobedience. The remaining conscripts are thus following orders blindly, just to stay alive.
    • Because of that, even if most of his men hate him, Bethlehem can control them, because every Holnist assumes that the rest of the army is loyal and obedient to the general.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Holnist uniforms. Modern military uniforms are designed to allow better camouflage. Holnists use bright and defined colors, so they are visible from far away and can scare people with their presence and numbers.
    • A movie based on mail carriers After the End? You mean it's a Post Apocalyptic movie?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The whole movie nowadays plays like something of a mix between Dances with Wolves and Fallout.
  • Narm: Along with Glurge, in quite a few places throughout the movie, particularly the the statue at the end and when Ford Lincoln Mercury meets the soldier from the Republic of California.
    • The scene where Shakespeare imagines owning a television set that functions.
    • The scene where he performs Shakespeare horribly with his mule.
    • The Shakespeare contest with General Bethlehem, which... honestly is so Narmalicious that even Kevin Costner seems weirded out he's doing it.
    • Shakespeare's attempts to make up a story even though he's a horrible liar.
    • Roger Ebert said the crowning moment of sap was when the Postman rides out to pick a letter from a boy's hands. He also referred to the statue at the end as "Dances with Himself".
    • The overemphasized closeup reveal of Tom Petty complete with dramatic music. Especially when your teenage daughter says, "Who's that guy supposed to be?"
      • Hell, just the whole damn movie.
      • Several of them are at least lampshaded. The scene with the mule isn't exactly meant to be taken seriously, and after riding back to snatch the letter the Postman mutters "What the hell am I doing...?"
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Cutting out the relationship between the Postman and Abby could save about an hour from the whole film, changing almost nothing for the plot. Not to mention it was one of the main targets for complains, both from critics and viewers.

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