The Postman

Director: Kevin Costner
Writers:Eric Roth and Brian Helgeland
Director of Photography:Stephen Windon
Editor:Peter Boyle
Music:James Newton Howard
Production Designer:Ida Random
Producers:Steve Tisch and Kevin Costner
Warner Bros.; R; 170 minutes
Cast:Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, James Russo and Tom Petty
Based on the book by David Brin

Don't let the negative buzz discourage you from seeing The Postman. The trailers didn't help generate much enthusiasm, as they suggested Waterworld on land. Sure, it's long, a bit self-indulgent and carries an in-your-face message. But its high points outweigh the low ones. As an actor, Costner immerses himself in the film, exuding an aura of confidence not seen since his Oscar-winning Dances With Wolves. As a director, he displays an intimate feel for the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. And the story is not all that outlandish. Set in post-apocalyptic 2013, all that remains of the United States are commune-like tribes inhabited by hopeless survivors. General Bethlehem (Patton) leads an army of bad guys who terrorize society. A wanderer (Costner) finds a pre-apocalyptic mail truck, puts on a postal uniform and sets out to deliver a bag of mail, hoping to earn himself a few free meals. His story that he's a representative of a new government instills a sense of hope in the hopeless. A group of eager young men band together with the postman and form their own army. The obligatory love story finds settler Abby (Williams) persuading the postman to continue his crusade when he's feeling guilty about lying to the people.