The Hated – Review of The Postman
I figured I’d start this series with one of the most despised and put down movies of my generation, and a movie that I’ve seen multiple times and very much enjoy. That movie is none other than The Postman, starring Kevin Costner.
This movie is largely panned as being “waterworld on land”, something that is pretty far from being true. Firstly, while I don’t think it’s a great movie, I also enjoyed Waterworld, and can watch it without a problem. I wouldn’t own it….well, I would’ve owned it if Jeanne Tripplehorn had a raucous sex scene where she was nude the entire time, but alas, my wishes fell on deaf ears. Besides, I personally think Waterworld gets the hate because of how expensive it was to make vs how unexceptional it is. Regardless of that, though, we’re here to talk about The Postman, so let’s get to it.
First of all, if you haven’t seen it, this movie is LONG. Like 3.5 hours or some shit. It’s like Lord of the Rings without the walking montages and fight scenes. The movie takes place in a post apocalyptic US, where a militant faction is gaining power, and people are clustered in small walled off towns that don’t communicate with outsiders. Costner plays a wanderer who gets caught by a military leader played by Will Patton, who rocks BTW, and gets conscripted into his faction. He eventually escapes, after pissing Patton off, and goes on the run.
He stumbles across a mail truck in the woods beside a road. The truck had crashed, killing the driver, and he took the skeleton’s clothes to keep warm. He also took the mail as an angle to gain access to towns and get fed. He comes to a town where he spins a tale about the US government being intact, and starting up mail routes for communication. He knocks up a hottie here as well, since some people can’t conceive after the fallout. The army shows up, sees an American flag, and hilarity ensues. Costner flees with Abby (the hottie), since she’s preggo with his kid, and tries to get her to a safe haven so the kid can be born in safety. He ends up starting a mail service, with the help of a kid he inspired, returning communication to the towns. It all leads him to an eventual battle with Patton.
The movie, I think, has a good story. It’s not a new or innovative story, but it’s solid. Costner’s character grows as a person, as do other characters. The acting is decent, and the ride is fun. Hell, it has freaking Tom Petty as a wacky leader of a town! The visuals are cool for the time, and the immersion is done well. It portrays a post apocalyptic US as it may likely be, with people huddled together in towns, trying to maintain a semblance of civility and community, while attempting to minimize the influence of the rouge military faction attempting to gain power. It also emphasizes how something as simple as snail mail communication can bring people in that type of situation hope, and inspire them to try pushes the boundaries and opening up to try rebuilding the world. It may not be a 5* movie, but it definitely doesn’t deserve the hate it got, IMHO. Sure, it could’ve been an hour shorter, but that was my gripe when I saw Goodfellas. That movie dragged like hell, and it killed my interest in it. Write me off as a nutjob if you want, but I’d rather watch this movie than Goodfellas or The Godfather, two movies I loathe.
So there you have it. This flick, while not groundbreaking, is not a complete horror show. It’s actually a decent movie with plenty of good aspects, and far more than other shit show movies that’ve won awards (I’m looking at you, No Country…yes, I hated that as well). While it may not be everyone’s speed, and could possibly just be a niche movie, I don’t think it’s deserving of the hate.