Welcome to the repair shack!
What is the repair shack, you ask? It's simple. If you've done a net search on Waterworld, you probably found tons of movie reviews, most of them negative. But in every critic and movie review, I couldn't help but to notice at least one part about plot holes.
So what we do here is this: we find all the possible plot holes reported by critics and movie reviews and do our best to counter what they say. In other words, we patch up the plot holes . . . In the repair shack! (I appoligize if that sounded corny)
Allright, let's get working! On with plot hole number one:
Hole: How did they build the Atolls? Atolls on which the people live in Waterworld are strange. They are made almost entirely out of metal, and float. That's not the problem, but where do they get all the metal when only mutants (who can breathe underwater) can get the metal up. Metal doesn't swim on the surface and the mutants are automatically sentenced to death when they enter one of these atolls.
Patch: Boats, my friend, boats. Some boats are also made of metal, and float just fine. The way I see it, they took some damaged or un-needed boats apart and arranged them in such a way to form the Atolls. And to help with the floating, they could have used tires, which also float. And even better: they could have used wood! I'm sure these Atolls weren't made COMPLETELY out of metal.
- "Is that one patched up correctly Sir?"
- "Good job people! Let's move on to the next one!"
Hole: Lack of suntans. These people live on the water. It's not cold where they are because, otherwise, they'd be wearing more clothing. So their skin is exposed to the sun alot. So why is it then that no one has a deep tan in a future where everyone's career is aquatic?
Patch: One word: shade. Example one: the Atolls. There's plenty of little houses on 'em, with plenty of shaded spots. Even on the Mariner's boat, there was an underneath to it (I don't know much about boats, so sue me ^_^), so he wasn't ALWAYS exposed to the sun. And as for the smokers, it's simple because they're almost always in the 'Deez (that big tanker at the end *L*). Other than that, a large number of characters DO have a big suntan.
- "Allright people, don't let up now! That was just a small one!"
Hole: Paper wasters! Throughout the movie, they say that paper is valuable, because there are few trees to get it from. So if paper is so valuable, how come the Smokers kept smoking and smoking and burning paper? Paper that was extremely valuable!
Patch: It wasn't just the paper. Paper was valuable, true. But it was mostly valuable because it had images and text from the Land Days (like those archeological things are valuable today). THAT's why it was valuable, it was mentionned in the book too. Cigarette paper on the other hand, is very small and contains no pictures or text, and is a lot more valuable to a Smoker in cigarette form . . . Smokers are really dumb too, and wouldn't have thought about the fact that they were burning paper *L*
- "Wonderful job on patching up that hole! Couldn't have done better myself!" *lights a cigarette*
Hole: Magic cigarettes. The Smokers are shown passing out cigarettes by the hundreds. If the entire world is covered by water, and plants are so rare from where do they get the tobacco and all the other chemicals involved in cigarette manufacturing?
Patch: Hypothesis time! In cases like these, you have to get creative. The Exxon Valdez (the 'Deez, the big boat at the end) could have been illegally smuggling cigarettes when it sank. Or there could have been OTHER boats with large cigarette shipments to last for what seems to be a lifetime. And if that was the case, then the Smokers simply raided those boats and stole all the smokes. Just because they didn't say where they got them doesn't mean they magically appeared ^_^ Who said the cigarettes had to last a lifetime anyway? They could have been running low on smokes like they were running low on gas.
- "Aha! Imagination patches up another one! Great job, now let's try to imagine away our taxes!
Hole: Gas stations? Where do the Smokers get the gas to run their jet skis? In a world that's all water, there wouldn't be a handy gas station on the corner to fill them up.
Patch: Duh! The Smokers live on an oil tanker. 'Nuff said.
- "What the hell was THAT!?"
- "Just a little crack, sir."
- "Allright, now hurry up with those holes! We haven't got all day!"
Hole: Jetskis running on crude oil. Everyone knows that jetskis and planes can not run on crude oil, and crude oil was what the Exxon Valdez was carrying.
Patch: Refining. They DID mention refining sometime in the movie, that I'm sure of. So the case was that the smokers had some sort of refining capability that we didn't get to see.
- "Did you see that sir? A little crack turned into a hole!"
Hole: Bungyjumping? To save Enola, Mariner attaches a rope to his feet and jumps off the airship. A rope is not very flexible, a property which is needed when bungyjumping or else your feet will be ripped off.
Patch: Duh #2. It IS a rubber rope, you can see it stretch. It also stated in the book that it was rubber, so it is. So with the rope being rubber, his feet are still there ^,^
- "That's weird, the holes keep getting smaller and smaller."
- "Oh well, less work for us!"
Hole: Ripoff artist. At the Atoll, Mariner trades a handfull of dirt and in return, has enough to buy a potted tomato plant with more dirt in it than he originally traded.
Patch: Here's how: 1 - The dirt Mariner brought looked better than the one in the plant, and 2 - Do those atollers look like a smart bunch? *L*
- "I wonder how long it would take for a bunch of atollers to patch up all these holes?"
- "Get back to work!"
Hole: Super tanker? Tankers like the 'Deez can only stay at sea for 20-30 years at most. That's an awefully short time for everyone to forget about Dryland.
Patch: Repaired tanker. Tankers can be repaired. Those smokers almost never have anything to do besides stand around, and they probably have heaps of junk to repair the tanker with sooo, there you go!
- "I feel like a smoker now."
- "Here's a cigarette."
Hole: Dirty people. Practically everyone is dirty and live on water. How can this be if there is no earth, no dust or no mud? With all that water around, they should have been able to wash. And without earth, how did they get dirty in the first place?
Patch: There's crap everywhere! Who ever said only dirt can get people dirty? On the Atoll, there WAS a huge pile of crap, and there was also people gutting a shark (which isn't too tidy), so they get dirty because of their food for one thing. Dust could also be a factor. And if they wear the same clothes day after day and don't bathe very often, they're bound to get dirty *L* Truth is they don't seem to like water very much even though they live on it. We never saw ONE character that was swimming unless they were chasing after Mariner. And speaking of Mariner, HE was clean, and so were Helen and Enola because we actually saw them bathe some time in the movie.
The Smokers are another story, a short one too. They live on an oil tanker, which means there's oil everywhere, along with empty cans of spam, cigarette butts, rust, ash, dust, and who knows if there's sewers on the 'Deez? And for the grand finale: they don't bathe either!
- "What!? It took you two paragraphs to fill a hole!? If I ever catch anyone slacking off again, I'll throw him in the 'Deez for a week!!"
Hole: Soil on Everest? Where did all that dirt appear on mount Everest? Everest and other high mountain peaks are almost predominantly rock are they? Where did the soil come from? Where did the seeds for all that vegetation come from?
Patch: You sure? Have you ever went to the top of Mount Everest and dug a hole to find some rock? No? Has anyone else done so? No!? Well if no one's done it, there's room for imagination :) It can't be ALL rock . . .
- "Ahhh, short and sweet. I like that. So if I catch anyone slacking off, I'll only throw 'em in the 'Deez for 4 days. Fair? Fair."
Hole: Cleaning Jetskis. Throughout the film you see people riding jet skis in salt water. The salt water would, over a period of time, destroy the internal jet pump. This would happen because a jet ski has to be flushed with fresh water regularly when used in salt water.
Patch: Rain anyone? Here's a theory: everytime it rains, they put buckets on the tanker's deck and re-use that water to flush their jet skis. Pah! Problem solved!
- "Allright, THREE days in the 'Deez . . ."
Hole: More Dryland? If the last piece of land was Mount Everest and had a good height left on it, what happened to all the other high mountains in the Himalayas? Surely K2 (which is understood to be only a few dozen feet shorter) and a few other peaks should also have survived...
Patch: I've said it before. . . . And I'll say it again: If you don't see some things, it doesn't mean they aren't there (from now on, this sentence will be referred to as "bleckmobo"). Maybe Dryland IS composed of every peak sticking out of the water, but counts as one because they're close together. Or maybe the only people who made maps were from Everest. There's many possibilities.
- "It has a funny sound to it."
Hole: Drifter meets Mariner. At the beginning, how does the drifter know which way is east if there are no poles?
Patch: Let's clear something up. The earth got flooded but all the other stars and planets (the way people orient themselves) are still where and how they used to be. That flooding problem is NOWHERE near the universal scale . . . Unless you think of MCA Universal, but that's another story ^;^
- "Aha! A patch with style! Congradulations!"
- "Why thank you Sir!"
Hole: Greedy bashturd! A bit after leaving the Atoll, Mariner and friends(?) run across a trader who offers him a few pieces of paper in exchange for thirty minutes with Helen. Mariner accepts. Later in the movie though, we see him holding many copies of National Geographic magazines. Why did he want those few pieces of paper when he already had a whole bunch?
Patch: This theory even applies today. Paper in Waterworld can be compared to money, and when it comes to money, one can never have enough *LOL*
- "'Scuse me Sir, how much are we getting paid for this?"
- ". . ."
Hole: Impossible. At the end of the movie, when Mariner and friends do find land, it turns out to be Mt. Everest. This establishes the sea level at that time. Using that and going back to the middle of the movie, we see him diving into the ruins of a city where skyscrapers are evident. The tallest skyscraper is approximately 1800 feet high, which would leave a difference of, say, 4 miles underwater. It would be pitch black at that depth and the water pressure would kill a human that far down, gills or no gills.
Patch: Let's make this one 50% ^;^ Mariner had flares when he was going down there, which explains why it wasn't pitch dark. And as for the water level issue, I could say that in the future, there could have been skyscrapers built near Mount Everest. But the underwater city was supposed to be Denver, so that wouldn't work out.
- "This hole appears to be bottomless Sir!"
- "Bah, just put a warning sign in front of it."
And the grand finale: The "not enough water" bug! I'm sure everyone's heard it: If the ice caps melted, there wouldn't be enough water to cover the whole world.
Patch: Imagination time again! Maybe the world wasn't flooded by the greenhouse effect. Even if there HAD been enough ice to flood the world, it still wouldn't make sense. See, melting ice caps doesn't happen overnight, and if the ice caps HAD melted, then the human race, as resourceful as they are ^_^, would have surely found a way to make sophisticated floating cities. The way people were organized in the movie, it looked more as if the whole world got flooded in a short matter of time.
The way I see it, it could have been a great big deluge or natural disaster that flooded the world. An ice meteor striking the earth would also make sense.
But still, try as I might, this hole can't be completely patched up since MCA Universal went and shoved their own foot in their mouth by saying the cause of the flood was global warming in the movie's intro *sigh*.
- "We're out of holes Sir!"
- "Well look on the bright side: then you'll get paid for being on welfare!"
- "Errr, well, we can clear up some of the goofs then!"
Goof: How many lemons? When the mariner first shows his lemontree, there are 3 lemons on it. After the thief steals them from him, he holds five lemons in his hands. Counting can sometimes be hard...
Clear up: Bleckmobo. The other two lemons were either hidden in the plant's dirt or had fallen out of the pot and were sitting behind it when we got a glimpse of it . . . Or maybe the thief ripped off someone else's lemon plant too.
- "See? No need to throw us on welfare yet, Sir! . . . Sir?"
- "He ditched us!"
Goof: Shoes or no shoes? When Mariner attaches the bungy rope to his ankle, you can clearly see that he's wearing shoes. Yet when he comes back up on the airship, he has no shoes.
Clear up: Cheap laces. The shoes weren't tied, and simply fell off when he jumped. That or he realized the shoes weren't aerodynamic enough and threw them away on the way down.
- "Heh, I think he just didn't know how to tie his shoes."
Goof: What is a mirror. Helen says that Enola is like a mirror, implying that she knows what a mirror is. But later she refers to a mirror as a "reflecting glass".
Clear up: Fits make people do that. When she says "the reflecting glass", she is practically having a nervous breakdown because Mariner had just told her Dryland didn't exist. When people are in an extremely emotionnal state, they sometimes forget how to say certain things ^_^
- "Good. Hey, has anyone seen the thing with buttons that change the channels on TV?
- "Are you involved in an unstable love triangle?"
Goof: Doesn't want to mess up his hair? The Mariner takes Helen to see the remains of the ancient world in a jerryrigged diving bell. QUESTION: Why does he have this thing? He can breathe in the water-- HE doesn't need it!
Clear up: Ehhhh . . . He didn't have it ^_^ He made the diving bell from spare material very quickly right before he took Helen to the bottom of the sea. Note it's cheap-looking-ness. Bleckmobo, are they supposed to show EVERYTHING in a movie?
- "I wonder if Mariner could build me a car in a day if I asked him nicely?"
Goof: Dollarama knife. When the mariner tries to free himself from the cage which is sinking into mud, you can clearly see that the knife he uses is already cut long before it snaps off.
Clear up: Smokers don't have a dollar . . . And don't take very good care of their things ^_^ So the knife was already broken. I guess Mariner was just outta luck.
- "Nice explaination. Where'd you get it?"
Goof: Magic juice. When Deacon is giving his speech to the Smokers, he drinks from a bottle of Jim Beam which is half full. In a later shot the bottle is full and later it is half full again.
Clear up: Strong stomach. To live on the 'Deez, you have to have a strong stomach (we went over that earlier). We can assume that Deacon, being the leader of them all, has the strongest stomach on board.
Now here's the explaination for that bottle.
First sighting, bottle is half full: It's half full, nothing wrong with that.
Second sighting, bottle is full: Deacon got sick, which made the bottle full again (you know how people can get sick when they're nervous, and giving a speech to thousands of people is somehting that can make someone nervous ^,^).
Third sighting, bottle is half full again: People in Waterworld re-use everyting they can . . . Come on! I'm trying not to be too graphic here! *LOL*
- "Magic bottles, I wish I could do that."
- "No, you don't."
Goof: Helium? When Gregor takes off in his airship, one couldn't help to wonder where he got such a large supply of helium. There wasn't any fire source what-so-ever . . .
Clear up: Helium shmelium. Either A: it wasn't helium, or B: there was a secret fire source that Gregor was hiding until there was an emergency (bleckmobo) ^_^ Or C: so there's a mess up, whoowee! What, did you expect every movie to be perfect!?
- "Yeah, not like anyone'll throw us on the 'Deez anymore."
Goof: What kind of mast is that? When the Mariner is climbing on top of his boat's mast to shoot the plane that is harpooned to the boat, you can see the mast is clearly made of metal. And yet when the rope lets go and he falls in the water, there are several pieces of wood that also fall. Weird.
Clear up: Bleckmobo! 'Nuff said.
- "Think there was a wooden treehouse on the mast?"
- "Bleckmobo . . . Could've been anything."
Goof: There's WWF in Waterworld? At one point, the Mariner hangs a Smoker with a rope hanging from his ship. The Smoker grabs his neck and makes gurgling sounds before the rope has even been stretched!
Clear up: That would be fun! . . . But alas, no. There is no WWF in Waterworld *sigh* The smoker simply had a severe case of speech impediment, which made "Oh sh*t!!" sound like gurgling noises.
- "Esnes sekam taht."
- "Are you speech impedimented or should I call 911?
Goof: Why do it the dirty way? In the beginning of the movie, Mariner takes a leak into a device which turns his peepee into drinkable water. Urine is compiled from hormones and salt, so why not just use seawater?
Clear up: He didn't know that. He was afraid he'd break the machine if he did use seawater ^_^ Better safe than sorry!
- "I still think he should have tried it . . ."
- "But then the movie would have been too simple."
Goof: 10 pound paper? When the gang finds the hut on the island there are several pieces of parchment that were used to tatoo the girl. The wind is blowing on the papers, yet in all the storms on the island the paper never blew away.
Clear up: Not exactly paper. Those pieces of parchment were actually sticker sheets with the map drawn on them. They were just blowing a little because the corners weren't sticky anymore. That was almost a goof though, because in a few more years, they would have lost all their stickyness ^_^
- "Close, but no cigar!"
Anyway, that's it for now. I'd just like to thank www.movie-mistakes.com and www.nitpickers.com for listing all the plot holes so I didn't have to think them up myself ^;^