Road Rash Reviews

Waterworld (1995) Limited Edition 4K UHD Review*****

Cert 12 | 135 / 176 / 178 mins | 2023

5 star restoration of an epic nineties adventure.

Waterworld is an American Post-apocalyptic action adventure film originally released in 1995. Written by Peter Rader (The Last Legion) and David Twohy (Pitch Black, The Fugitive), it is directed by Kevin Reynolds (The Count of Monte Cristo) and produced by Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves) who also stars.

It is now available to buy in the UK on Limited Edition 4K UHD courtesy of Arrow Video.

“The future. The polar ice caps have melted, covering the earth with water. Those who survived have adapted to a new world.”

In a post-apocalyptic future, humans live on a world completely submerged with water following the melting of the polar ice caps. The remaining humans eke out their existence on huge floating rafts or in boats at sea, speaking in hushed tones of the mythical “Dryland”.

Humanity has all but forgotten walking the earth, but The Mariner (Kevin Costner) knows the truth. He has evolved gills to breathe underwater and knows that “Dryland” is in fact under the sea. He lives alone on his huge and well kitted out trimaran, trading with the drifters he meets out on the waves.

Calling in to an outpost to resupply, he meets shopkeeper Helen (Jeanne TripplehornSliding Doors, Mickey Blue Eyes), who is happy to take as much dirt as he can offer. Unfortunately, this arouses suspicion and when the locals realise he is a “mutant”, they imprison him. Their timing is poor, as it coincides with an attack by The Smokers, a gang of gasoline obsessed ruffians led by Deacon (Dennis Hopper – Easy Rider, Speed).

They are here for Enola (Tina Majorino – Veronica Mars, Bury Me), a young girl being looked after by Helen who has a map tattooed on her back rumoured to show the location of Dryland. In return for his release, he reluctantly agrees to help the two girls.

“How ’bout a cigarette? Nothing like a good smoke when you miss your mom… Never too young to start!”

Although the numerous problems associated with this film and it’s production and subsequent box office performance are well documented, it has nevertheless always been a firm favourite at Road Rash HQ. It has the feel of Mad Max at sea and carries a strong eco message (somewhat offset by their extensive use of pyrotechnics).

It’s sweeping seascapes and stunning action sequences have always amazed and the very thing that originally led to so much criticism (their insistence on filming on open water and practical effects) now makes this 4K restoration all the more impressive. There is no dodgy nineties CGI here to be shown up, everything is crystal clear and looks better than ever.

The soundtrack also sounds great, uplifting pirate music and the sounds of the sea, creaking ropes, splashing waves, all sound fantastic and add to the experience.

With lots and lots of special features to enjoy, grab the popcorn, buckle up and settle down to a seafaring adventure in glorious 4K.

“He doesn’t have a home or people to care for. He’s not afraid of anything, men least of all. He’s fast and strong like a big wind. He can hear a hundred miles, and see a hundred miles underwater. He can hide in the shadow of a noon sun. He can be right behind you and you won’t even know it til you’re dead!”


  • Three cuts of the film newly restored from original film elements by Arrow Films
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Six collector’s postcards
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Limited edition 60-page perfect bound book featuring writing on the film by David J. Moore and Daniel Griffith, and archival articles
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper 


  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) of the original theatrical cut
  • Dolby Atmos, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 stereo audio options
  • Maelstrom: The Odyssey of Waterworld – feature-length making-of documentary including extensive cast and crew interviews and behind the scenes footage
  • Dances With Waves – original archival featurette capturing the film’s production
  • Global Warnings – film critic Glenn Kenny explores the subgenre of ecologically themed end-of-the-world films
  • Production and promotional still gallery
  • Visual effects still gallery
  • Original trailers and TV spots 


  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended US TV cut, which runs over 40 minutes longer than the theatrical cut
  • Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 stereo audio options 


  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended European Ulysses cut, which include previously censored shots and dialogue
  • Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 stereo audio options
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DirectorKevin Reynolds
GenreAction, adventure, fantasy
StarringKevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dennis Hopper, Tina Majorino
Category: 4K, film, Review