Tom Petty has a part in this movie where he plays himself. Just think about that for a second. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Ok, the reason why I’m bringing up The Postman is because it takes place in 2013 and this is the last chance I’ll ever have to mention it. So here’s my quick take on it.
This picture is kinda bad. It’s far from the worst thing I’ve seen but even with the refinement that it definitely needed I have a hard time seeing how this could’ve been a really great piece. The pacing is uneven, none of the characters are that noteworthy, the story is trite and the cinematography isn’t the most exciting. But if you liked the ragged costume design of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld then this is for you because it’s the third in that Kevin Costner/John Bloomfield trilogy.
Some of the ideas the filmmakers (and author David Brin) had were genuinely good though. The religious allegories are kind of interesting: the villain is called Bethlehem, the postman becomes a Jesus type figure that’s worshipped, the postal service becomes like a religion giving people hope and something to believe in, etc. And I like that Costner only puts on the postman shtick to get some food which starts a snowball of lies that grows out of his control into something real.
Other than a small number of bright spots The Postman is tedious and confusing. A million times (I counted) Costner gives up being the postman only to take up the role again at the first sign of encouragement. And the backstory, the inconsistent behavior of the characters and the passage of time all make for a bunch of perplexing moments. I had a hard time in particular with that last one. It feels like the story spans a couple of years but I think it was really all supposed to take place in less than a year.
And it’s sorta stupid how the film ends too (SPOILER). The world has been a shithole for about twenty years. Then when the postman comes along it takes roughly thirty years for those badlands to get back to normal, to the way it looked before “the war”. So this wasteland period only lasts some fifty to sixty years in total with the “postman” era taking up a little more than half of it. That’s a pretty brief fuckin’ apocalypse if you ask me. I mean there were probably a whole bunch of folks who ended up living through the entire ordeal. That must’ve been inconvenient.
|See, I told you Tom Petty was in this.|
Is this one horrible? No, but it ain’t good. It’s Costner at his cheesiest and most self-indulgent (hero is a loner that ends up saving humanity, the three hour runtime, there are a couple of parts where a band plays some corny soft rock music (Costner even does a cover of “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice” with Amy Grant over the end credits), etc.). It’s easily the worst movie he’s directed but probably not the worst picture he’s been in (I’m lookin’ at you Rumor Has It… and maybe Swing Vote).
So anyway, here’s to ya 2013. I’m glad the world didn’t turn into a Mad Max type place of desolation and carnage ‘cause that would’ve sucked in real life (but it’s so fuckin’ badass on screen). Happy new year everybody! Be safe and have a good one. See you next year.