By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Finally, an extended cut where you can actually tell what's been added back in. It may help that I worked at a movie theater the summer Waterworld was playing, so I became intimately familiar with the details of the theatrical cut.
On DVD: Waterworld Extended
With 40 extra minutes, the film now feels like a Kevin Costner epic. You spend more time hanging out with the characters, decisions are come to more carefully and you just linger in the world rather than bang out action scenes.
Extra scenes with the smokers add to the chaotic atmosphere of their lifestyle. Extra scenes on the mariner's boat show what it's like to live that way, and what a hassle these ladies are. One scene actually explains why he filters urine instead of salt water. The tomato bit is a fun little mini-arc too.
A lot of the new scenes come in the first half of the film so you can tell you're watching a different version. There's an extended denouement too that puts more of a point on the mariner's experience. They even give him a literary name, and reveal the final location, which is too on the nose but hey, if you're putting stuff back in, make it different.
Best of all, there are more supplies. Yes, I have a fetish for movies where apocalyptic survivors have to find supplies. Waterworld was actually a good one for that and now we see more items dredged up from beneath the depths.