AQUAMAN movie review
Aquaman might be the last hope for the DC Extended Universe. The characters have been almost unrecognizable from their comic book counter parts either in looks or in actions. Superman who has always been the red white and blue boy scout was instead portrayed as moody and conflicted about whether or not he should help people and ran off to become a fisherman. Batman whose one big rule is to not kill, tried to kill Superman with an arsenal of weapons. Lex Luthor who is normally a cool calculating villain was instead transformed into some sort creepy frat boy. The movies have been bizarre with the exception of Wonder Woman who lost some credibility by being in Batman v Superman and Justice League. There has been talk of DC blowing up their movie universe and starting over. Henry Cavil may be out as Superman. There have been rumors for years that Ben Affleck is done playing Batman. There are multiple actors playing the Joker (Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix) without any real explanation. The DC Extended Universe is a mess and it appears Aquaman is its last hope. Aquaman, the character that has spent years being mocked on shows like Family Guy, Entourage, The Big Bang Theory, Robot Chicken. Aquaman has been a joke among comic book fans and nerds yet this is DC’s last hope and honestly, the film doesn’t suck. It’s not the greatest movie ever but for DC film, it’s not bad.
Jason Momoa, Kal Drogo from Game of Thrones, plays Aquaman who is half human and half Atlantian. He has known about his heritage but up until now didn’t really care. Mera (Amber Heard) comes out of the ocean to tell Aquaman that if he doesn’t go to Atlantis and claim his thrown as the king, then his half brother will start a war with the surface world. Aquaman heads to Atlantis and ends up on a quest to find the magic trident that will make him king. Aquaman’s real name is Arthur Curry which would make him King Arthur once he has this magic trident. Essentially this film is the story of King Arthur under water with Pirates of the Caribbean mixed in as well as bit of Indiana Jones and Star Wars as well. They really try to do a lot in this movie, maybe even too much. It really feels like they realized the other movies were terrible so they just wanted to throw as much stuff out there as possible hoping something would stick and impress someone. And a lot of it does surprisingly work. Although they put so much into this movie and gave it such world ending stakes that it seems like there is not going to be a lot left for the sequel. The sequel is teased throughout the movie and there is a little setup at the end. There is an early mid-credit scene but no after credit scenes so don’t hang around for those. There are also no cameos from the other DC characters in this film which probably goes back to DC not being sure if they’re going to blow up their universe or not and also not being sure whose playing the characters.
This film does feel a lot closer to the source material. Director James Wan pulls Aquaman away from the dark brooding world that Zack Snyder created with the Superman and Justice League movies and makes Aquaman a lot more fun. Wan gets Aquaman back into his traditional comic book costume of the green pants and orange shirt. There are characters riding sharks and sea horses. Atlantis and the film overall are bright and pretty.
The special effects are so-so. Some of the fish are clearly CG. There are some jumps and dives that look kind of ridiculous. Amber Heard’s red dye job is a little odd looking. The action is fairly fun. The humor doesn’t always work. A lot of the intended jokes go without reaction. There are a couple funny moments though. A surprising amount of the movie takes place out of the water which you wouldn’t expect for an Aquaman movie. There are some odd plot holes like why Aquaman needs a boat or how a guy with bullet proof skin has tattoos but those aren’t huge issues. Overall Aquaman is fun and exciting to watch and does give some hope to the DC movies. Definitely better than any of the Snyder movies but it’s still not Wonder Woman.
3 out of 5 stars on this one.