This lavish Mad Max on jet skis from director Kevin Reynolds was declared dead in the water owing to escalating costs, nightmarish production problems and clashing egos, but it finally emerged as a spectacular and thrilling sci-fi fantasy.
In the far future, the polar ice caps have melted, covering the planet in water and making dirt the most valuable commodity. Enigmatic loner Mariner (Kevin Costner) offers a ray of hope to Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and Enola (Tina Majorino), the latest victims of bandits led by the manic Deacon (Dennis Hopper).
While helping Helen and Enola survive, Mariner continues his search to find the mythical Dryland while the three survivors are pursued by the evil Smokers.
The film offers plenty of comic-book heroics and explosive stunts, and Costner gives one of his finest performances as the half man/half fish whose steely character holds this full-blooded epic adventure together.
R D Call