Despite several fine performances, like in “Bull Durham” and, of course, the must-be-mentioned “Dances with Wolves,” Kostner’s been in some serious duds. I didn’t know he could make any thing worse than “Water-World,” but I was dead wrong. “The Postman” takes the cake, hands down. I can’t believe the film industry exposed itself to such an embarrassing work knowing full well Costner’s limitations behind the camera after that “Water-World” fiasco—and I believe I am being charitable here using the word fiasco.
The “movie” is based on a novel about post-apocalyptic America when towns exist in desolate and remote communities, constantly raided by the new Generalissimo General Bethlehem (played by Will Patton) and his flock of mercenaries. Costner’s character wanders about and is drawn into this gang, only to run away later. In his effort to scam a town into accepting him, he enters incognito as a postman (finding a corpse complete with mail and a uniform en route). His raison d’être to unite these scattered towns via the U.S. mail against the evil Generalissimo follows.
But wait–here is the most laughable part: the Postman unites this rag-tag bunch of naive and stupid kids against the Generalissimo’s merciless battle- hardened killers; the execution is so poor, that I could not watch it all.
A couple of side notes. Has anyone been to or dealt with the post office or a postal worker in the past decade? There is no way I believe that people trust those providers of fine and efficient service with their packages—opting instead for any number of private carriers—much less with leading an insurrection that’s coordinated using mail against an outgunned, out-skilled, and outnumbered force. The only possible scenario to win here is that as a postman, Costner could have truly gone “postal” (meaning becoming extremely agitated and uncontrollably angry, often to the point of violence, and typically in a workplace. “Going Postal” derives from a series of incidents from 1983 onward in which United States Postal Service (USPS) workers shot and killed managers, fellow workers, and members of the police or general public in acts of mass murder, often after being laid off or unemployed for long stints). Yet he never went postal, so what hope could his cause possibly have had?
This is a long movie (almost 3 hours), and to be frank, I almost made it through the first two hours, but that was enough. I just could not take the pain anymore. In short, “The Postman” is a three-hour-long, torturous experience, replete with brainless dialogue, bombastic symbolism, and self-glorification. I even felt pity for Tom Petty; his cameo in this movie is supposed to be funny, but it was just as moronic as the rest of the movie.