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YMMV / Waterworld

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  • Adaptation Displacement: The show at Universal Studios has proven to be quite popular and still runs to this day. As a result, more people are familiar with the stage show than they are with the actual film or the novel (which expands more on the world).
  • Awesome Music: The SNES Waterworld game is known as a pretty bad game. However its OST by Dean Evans has a lot of awesome tracks.
    • Diving is a perfect example of an amazing ambient track on this OST.
    • Mission Theme 1 and Mission Theme 3
    • From the film itself, Escaping the Smokers, arguably the main theme of the entire film and a very heroic-sounding piece. It's also used during the most exciting parts of the stunt show at Universal Studios.
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  • Bellisario's Maxim: There are two takes on the film: either spend hours pondering how all of this works and why it couldn't, or just relaxing and enjoying the spectacle.
  • Better on DVD: The Extended Cut is the far superior version, as it features more world-building, more Character Development and fills in some of the Plot Holes.
  • Critical Backlash: Some people don't find the movie to be that bad.
    • One recurring theme in the film's detraction shares an odd connection with the 1980's film Ishtar, in that a chunk of the criticism for both was each film's utterly gigantic budget and cost overruns, as if the critics were doing double duty as the producers who financed the films. One nickname for Waterworld as it was being made and racking up giant over-expenses? "Fishtar". And it's hard to find a period review that doesn't focus on how the production went out of control, instead of discussing the actual movie.
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  • Cult Classic: The film has always had its defenders and fans, but today it borders on Vindicated by History: over the years the shadows of its Troubled Production have faded, and Critical Backlash has lead to new audiences wondering what all the hate is about. The release of the extended cut that restores a lot of the worldbuilding and storytelling left on the cutting room floor hasn't hurt either. The film also has a following in the design community as a take on The Apunkalypse that doesn't involve sandy wastelands and dune buggies.
  • Designated Hero: The Mariner. Though it's more Anti-Hero with shades of trying to avoid The Call through most of the movie.
  • Evil Is Cool: Dennis Hopper seems to be having a great time playing the villainous Deacon. As such, he's one of the most entertaining parts of the movie.
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  • Fanfic Fuel: Suppose there were other, non-villainous Smoker factions out there.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: It's worth noting that in addition to the popular stunt show, it also has its own themed area at Universal Studios Japan. And let's not forget the film earned tons of money outside of the US, saving it from being an actual, rather than perceived, bomb.
  • Ham and Cheese: Depending on your opinion of the movie, Dennis Hopper may qualify.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Regardless of finding dry land or not, humanity is in an extinction phase, as there simply aren't enough people left to avoid fatal inbreeding. And that assumes there will be more people reaching dry land at all, rather than keeping it a Hidden Elf Village.
  • Narm: The scene where Mariner blows up at Enola over the crayons. The scene where Helen screams "FOOD!" also qualifies. The sentence it's a part of isn't actually that bad, but the fact that she just randomly screams the last word makes it all fall apart.
    • And there's the infamous "My boat".
  • Older Than They Think: The setting has more than a few similarities to the French comic series Aquablue.
  • Periphery Demographic: Hobbyist sailors, since the film has a racing trimaran in it and passable sailing scenes, both being a very rare sight in movies. And the villains are those annoying motorboat and jet-ski users.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The SNES and Virtual Boy games based on the film were seen as pretty bad, especially the latter (it's noteworthy for being the only movie-based game/American game on the short-lived system).
    • The pinball machine made by Sega was critically ravaged as well. This is notable in that licensed adaptations of pinball machines are rarely that bad.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Hey, that's a pre-fame Jack Black as the Smoker plane pilot!
    • And a young Kim Coates as the crazy Drifter!
    • Deb has the map to dry land!
    • For some who watched the Japanese dub, Ikue Otani, who does the voice for Enola is known for providing the voice for Pikachu years before Pokémon.
  • The Scrappy: Enola is really annoying.
    • Which makes the scene where she gets slapped in the face by Deacon really satisfying.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: While it didn't entirely invent the concept of an Ocean Punk post-apocalypse, it certainly codified it and brought it to mainstream attention. At the time the idea was such a novelty that it almost inverts the trope - it was so radically different that some of the flak it received was over a setting that today doesn't seem so off-the-wall and unrelatable.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Despite being a box office flop in the U.S., the film has gotten mixed or average reviews from many film critics, who gave it an average score of 56 out of 100 according to Metacritic.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The Deacon slaps Enola.
    • Mariner throws her in the ocean and she can't swim. Please, oh God, leave her...
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Upon release, a lot of reviews that weren't obsessed about cost overruns were instead in tone of "Post-apo movie that isn't set on a desert? How dare they!", further reinforcing Critical Backlash effect.
  • What an Idiot!: Your world has been completely submerged in water, and you've found a man who can breathe underwater and has various other aquatic abilities. Do you A) make use of these talents or B) try to kill him for the horrible crime of having gills? In Waterworld, the answer is B.
    • This one is actually addressed in the extended cut. The elders are simply afraid they might lose their position of power by disturbing the existing status quo. To stay in charge, they incite the other people in the atoll against the Mariner, even if most of the atollers are perfectly aware how useful he is due to both being a mutant and his potential knowledge. They also want to get rid of Enola, as she attracts Smokers' attention. Long story short - the atoll is lead by a group of paranoid cowards that still hold enough esteem to trump reason.
    • One that got noted by The Nostalgia Critic: After escaping the smokers, the Mariner and his new friend reach a place where they think dry land may be. Do you A) use your equipment and ride around to make sure Deacon isn't on your tail, or B) leave Enola on the boat while you go exploring? They chose B), and the next time Enola is seen, Deacon and the Smokers have caught up and captured her.
    • Who the hell doesn't learn how to swim in Waterworld? You didn't think that might be a useful life skill in this setting?
    • Deacon and two of his mooks all rush at Enola from different directions, only to crash into each other and explode when she gets rescued right in front of them. Except that part would have happened whether she got rescued or not (possibly justified in their becoming so focused on Enola and the Mariner that they become tunnel-visioned and forget to pay attention to their surroundings).

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