The Postman (1997)

"Bad"

The Postman (1997) Review


When picking a protagonist for a movie as massively pulp as this filmwas, a good idea is to make a character that the audience can have some connection with. In order to do this, it might be a good idea to not associate said character with anything that alienates the character. In other words: if you want to choose your basic pulp protagonist, please do not choose their occupation as something that has become synonymous with psychopath.

Yes, I'm talking about The Postman. Post-millennial, post-apocalyptic, and post-intelligence, The Postman is the story of patriotism being reborn (ironically, the patriotism is in opposition to nationalism, which is the flip side of the patriotic coin) in the form of Postal Carriers. OK. It's dumb. The United States has become defunct, a racist psychopath holds all of the power, and the first thing that the new US Government is trying to get working is the mail.

Somehow, I think that David Brin, the author of the book upon which the film The Postman is based, listened to "Please, Mr. Postman" on the radio a lot as a kid.

To add more to the plot synopsis, a travelling actor (Kevin Costner) is drafted by an ultra-nationalist army called The Wholeness (run by another psychopath named Bethlehem (Patton)). As you can probably guess, The Wholeness has nothing to do with Tastee Wheat. Because Costner disagrees with the politics of the program, and because he's a loner, he escapes. On the verge of dying, he discovers a postal truck, dons the clothes of the postman, and starts delivering mail.

The misguided and laughable premise (it might not have been laughable pre the Son of Sam, who first nailed the idea of a psychopathic postman together) is but one of the films many flaws. Another is its three-hour running time. Being forced to watch misguided sci-fi for three hours isn't my idea of fun. In fact, I don't think its anyone's idea of fun. Yet another are the over-the-top acting jobs by Kevin Coster, Will Patton, and Olivia Williams. The only person who acts his role just right is Larenz Tate, who gets stuck with the name Ford Lincoln Mercury (he named himself after a car dealership) and ends up becoming a laughable character for the rest of the movie.

Whenever you have a movie that is so obviously B-rate, putting in a plot that takes itself too seriously is not the thing to do. The Postman is a movie that, despite all of its shortcomings, attempts to tackle the subjects of Nazism, patriotism, and nobility. Again, we come back to the concept of the postal worker who has gone postal and the irrevocable damage it did to this film.

Since I grew up with the image of crazy postmen, I can not comment on how good or bad the movie could be without the running unintentional joke that the film makes of itself. However, even if I removed and ignored the idea of the running joke, even if I resisted the temptation to laugh whenever the postal workers actually start shooting people and thinking it's a good thing, I think I would still think that The Postman was a bad movie.

An idea: FedEx instead.

Please, Mr. Costner.



Facts and Figures

Box Office Worldwide: $17.6M

Budget: $80M

Production compaines: Tig Productions, Warner Bros.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as The Postman, as General Bethlehem, as Abby, as Ford Lincoln Mercury, as Bridge City Mayor, as Bandit 20, as Idaho, as Pineview Sheriff Briscoe, as Luke, Roberta Maxwell as Irene March, as Colonel Getty, Ron McLarty as Old George, as Ellen March, as Woody, Todd Allen as Gibbs, as Mercer, as Billy, as Eddie March, as Michael, Abby's Husband, as Ponytail, Ty O'Neal as Drew, as Hope, the Postman's daughter

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.