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The Postman

A sense of déjà vu pervades this self-directed, over long and outsized Costner project. In a post-apocalyptic, anarchic wilderness, a semi-fascist goon squad terrorises the surviving populace. Costner, a loner scavenging on the fringe of society, instigates and leads a just and glorious resistance. The film aims for an uncomfortable compromise between the dramatic sincerity of Dances with Wolves and the epic spectacle of Waterworld, but lacks the explanatory detail and narrative fluency to achieve either. Only Costner's character is at all remarkable. It's his charlatan side that switches on the story: chancing across a crashed mail truck, he assumes the dead postman's uniform and talks his way into the next walled town, improvising a tale in which a reconstituted US government is slowly re-establishing its infrastructure. He gets his food, and thus inspires a true, rookie mail service - an audacious social enterprise which outrages Patton's feudal tyrant. There's no discernible irony in the eventual glorification of the hero.

Release details

Duration: 178 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Kevin Costner
Screenwriter: Eric Roth, Brian Helgeland
Cast: Kevin Costner
Will Patton
Larenz Tate
Olivia Williams
James Russo
Tom Petty
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