I saw the trailer for this film probably ten times, and each time, it elicited guffaws from the skeptical crowd. And why not? What moron posits a film where a postman becomes the hero in a post-apocalyptic America? Answer: Kevin Costner. Even better, two or three days before this film opened some postal employee went into an office in Milwaukee and shot the place up. I guess this is free advertising for Costner, since the postman gets coverage on the evening news, but it's hardly like putting your logo on a McDonald's drink cup.
Hypothetically though, let's just say that we're going to overlook the whole postal issue and focus on the film in an entirely objective light. The story would seem to be fairly interesting. Based on the novel by David Brin, this post-apocalyptic America is populated by small communities who managed to survive the war. Now, the dominant force of the land is a band of racist thugs led by a former copy machine salesman, General Bethlehem (Will Patton).
Costner emerges as the hero when he pretends to be a postman and gets everybody thinking that the United States government has reformed. People rally around the idea of the postman, which threatens the powerhold of the Wholeness.
It isn't enough for Costner to star in this thing, but he has to direct it as well, meaning that not only do we have to put up with his predictable, "look at me, I'm so vulnerable" acting style, but also with his direction. Every meaningful moment of the movie is supposed to be transformed by some kind of Kevin Costner, hands-on-his-hips, pose. It's the kind of manipulative, amateurish crap that inspires people to go "postal," but not in the way the movie would like.
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