Waterworld is a 1995 post-apocalyptic action science fiction film. The film was directed by Kevin Reynolds and co-written by Peter Rader and David Twohy. It is based on Rader's original 1986 screenplay and stars Kevin Costner, who also produced it. It was distributed by Universal Pictures.
The film release was accompanied by a tie-in novel and video game, and also two popular themed attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan based on the film, called Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular, which are both still running as of 2009.
Kevin Costner as The Mariner
Dennis Hopper as The Deacon
Jeanne Tripplehorn as Helen
Tina Majorino as Enola
Michael Jeter as Old Gregor
Gerard Murphy as The Nord
R.D. Call as Enforcer at the Atoll
Jack Black as Smoker Plane Pilot
John Toles-Bey as Ed, Smoker Plane Gunner
Robert Joy as Ledger Guy
John Fleck as Smoker Doctor
Kim Coates as Crazed Drifter
Sab Shimono and Leonardo Cimino as Elders of the Atoll
Jack Kehler as Banker
Rick Aviles as Gatesman at the Atoll
Sean Whalen as Bone
Lee Arenberg as Djeng
Robert LaSardo as Smitty
William Preston as Depth Gauge
Chris Douridas as Atoller
The setting of the film is the distant future, although no exact date is given. (Suggested as 2500.) The polar ice caps have completely melted, and the sea level has risen many thousands of feet, covering virtually all the land.
An antihero, known only as "the Mariner" (Kevin Costner), is a drifter who sails the Earth in his trimaran. He comes into an atoll seeking to trade his dirt, which is now a precious commodity. There, it is revealed that he is a mutant with webbed feet and gills, a new step in evolution to accommodate the changes in climate. The atollers, fearful of him, vote to "recycle" him by drowning him in a yellow sludge-like brine pool. At this moment, pirates known as "smokers" arrive in a raid on the atoll, as they have been tipped off by a smoker spy posing as a trader (Gerard Murphy), known as "the Nord."
The smokers are searching for an orphan girl living there named Enola, who has what appears to be directions to Dryland tattooed on her back. Her caretaker is Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn), the atoll's shopkeeper, and they plan to escape with Gregor (Michael Jeter), the atoll's expert on hydroelectric power and resident astrologer and inventor, in the hopes of finding Dryland. Unfortunately, Gregor's escape method, a hot air balloon made of old rags, launches too early with him on it, leaving Helen and Enola stranded. Instead, they escape with the Mariner, who agrees to take them with him as they saved his life, but seems ill-pleased with their company as he prefers solitude. Chasing them is "the Deacon" (Dennis Hopper), who is the captain of a derelict oil tanker, the Exxon Valdez, and the leader of the smokers. He also wants to get to Dryland, and has a number of skirmishes with the Mariner in his attempts to get Enola back.
Helen, convinced that Dryland exists, demands to know where the Mariner finds his dirt. The Mariner, who can breathe underwater, puts her in a diving bell, and swims down to a sunken city on the ocean floor and grabs a handful of earth. While they are beneath the ocean's surface, the Deacon and his smokers board the boat. The Mariner and Helen escape as the Deacon burns it and captures Enola. Since Helen cannot breathe underwater, the Mariner breathes for the both of them, resulting in a prolonged underwater kiss of life. They are later rescued by Gregor and he takes them to a new makeshift atoll where the survivors of the first atoll attack have regrouped.
Using a jetski, the Mariner chases down the Exxon Valdez and boards it. There, the Deacon is having a great celebration, during which he tosses gifts of cigarettes and spam to the crew of the tanker, proclaiming they have found the map to Dryland. After they have all gone below the ship to row, the Mariner walks out onto the deck and threatens to drop a flare into the oil reserves unless the Deacon releases Enola. The Deacon, believing that the Mariner is bluffing, refuses. The Mariner drops the flare down into the oil reserves.
The ship explodes, and the Mariner escapes with Enola rescued by climbing a rope dropped by Gregor from his balloon. The Deacon, still alive, grabs the rope and tries to pull Enola. The Deacon loses his grip and falls into the water. Still alive, he pulls out his pistol and shoots at the balloon, hitting one of the lines, causing Enola to fall back into the sea. The Deacon and two other Smokers, all on jet skis, converge on Enola. The Mariner ties a rope around his ankle and bungee jumps down to grab Enola, pulling her out of the water as the three jet skis collide and explode.