Cast: Kevin Costner, Will Patton,
Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, James Russo
Directed by Kevin
Clocking in at about three hours, comes
another attempt by director Costner at an epic. After the much
acclaimed success of DANCES WITH WOLVES, Costner takes the helm once
again with an inspiring and moving, but seriously flawed patriotic
statement. In the year 2013, the United States no longer exists after
another war, leaving the entire nation in a state of anarchy. Seizing
upon this lack of a formidable power comes Bethlehem, a former copier
salesman who applies his talents for leadership to drudge up a band
of thugs and terrorize several towns into submission of his will.
They get more than what they bargained for after they kidnap Costner,
who escapes their clutches only to assume the identity of a postman.
One thing leads to another and soon, Costner's postman becomes a hero
to the wartorn and once hopeless inhabitants of those frightened
towns under Bethlehem's iron grasp.
Costner proves his directorial talent was
no fluke the first time, as he hits just the right notes at the right
times to make the film effective. However, try as he might, he cannot
raise the level of the corny script, and also shows that needs to
control himself as an editor, as three hours was one hour too long to
tell this tale. Had the script been more profound and the action
tightened up, Costner could have really pulled a gem out of this
idea. Unfortunately, the gem loses luster every time it appears that
it will finally shine. Not as bad as the critics said it was, but not
as good as it tries to be; I don't know whether to call it a pleasant
surprise or a disappointment.