'Waterworld' is essentially a modern tale. The central dream is to get back to dry land, which, when finally discovered by Mariner and his newly fashioned and reconfigured family, is reminiscent of Eden. It is the return to Milton's 'Paradise Lost' rather than the discovery of new frontiers. The film represents the modernist's desire to return to the old order, achievable only in the cinematic imaginery, but still a compelling image to many. A key message in the movie is that real life and living as humans are possible only on dry land, the utopian tendency of modernity's universalizing binary oppositions. Mariner stands as a testament to the fact that life in other permutations is quite possible, somthing that is daily being explored in postsecular situations.
Barry Taylor, Entertainment Theology, p 91
First, I hope you will join me in a few chuckles, at the idea of using 'Waterworld' as a deeply philosophical metaphor. Sadly, Taylor doesn't seem to have gotten too far into the canon of works made famous (or infamous) by Mystery Science Theater 3000, so we will not get further philosophical breakdowns of such great works like how mythology meets science "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians", or maybe the conflict between ancient religions and modern technology in "The Robot versus The Aztec Mummy", or the misadventures of modern people in their quest through the desert of the real and the perils of looking for a helping hand in the classic "Manos: The Hands of Fate".
No, we shall just have to accept that Taylor had to use what even he called a "box-office dud", p 89, to try to convince us that we live in a water-world of postmodernism.
"A key message in the movie is that real life and living as humans are possible only on dry land". Umm, yeah, we humans are just so made for life on the water. Don't we like to swim around in water, eat fish, and all that? So, come on, dive in, leave the dry land behind!!
One could get the impression that Taylor and those like him are trying to outdo even Jesus. Jesus, after all, only compared a man building a house on sand to one building it on the rock. These are going even further, saying that not only should be build our houses on water, but that it is a much better think than to build it on the rock.
Oops, don't stay under water too long. You may drown.
Wait, Costner's character had gills!!! You can...well...you can...well...well.
Oh, that's right. It's Costner. And, it's a movie. The normal person doesn't have gills.
Oh, and there's the food, too. Yeah, we can eat fish, clams, and such things, for a while. But what about the vegans? Are they going to have to subsist simply on seaweed? And don't us normal omnivores need veggies every now and again, too?
"Mariner stands as a testament to the fact that life in other permutations is quite possible". Umm...Costner's character is fictional!!!! You know, made up, not real, likely not even possible. I know, one can find some science fiction that could be considered predictive, but I doubt that Waterworld falls in that category, especially when it comes to Costner's character and his sudden development of gills.