Director: Kevin Reynolds
Year Released: 1995
The collective worst nightmare of Al Gore, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg comes true in some (not so?) distant future: the polar ice caps are gone, Planet Earth is mostly underwater and people have to live on makeshift "atolls" ... but everyone dreams of solid ground which is where part-man/part-fish Mariner (Kevin Costner) has a role in saving little orphan girl Enola (Tina Majorino) - who has a tattoo on her back that (allegedly) reveals the location of the fabled "Dryland" - from the Dickensian Deacon (Dennis Hopper). It's become impossible to discuss this without mentioning the budget (and yes, for '95, $175 million was a lot of money), but at least they put the cash on screen: the gadgets and floating structures are impressive, but they should have taken the time to further expand on the "world building" and developing its characters - for the most part, Costner's dirt trader isn't exactly a chatterbox nor is he pleasant to be around (he pimps out Jeanne Tripplehorn's character and he hurls Enola into the drink), but Hopper is having a blast drinking Jack Daniel's out of the bottle and sucking down smokes (also keep an eye out for Jack Black as one of Dennis' pilots). I wonder if James Cameron saw this, heard about the production history, understood the risks and that's what lead him to make Avatar ... which was what this thought it could be.