From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.
What We Thought:
I had very low expectations for Aquaman. I thought the trailers looked like every other CGI film out there and I haven’t loved a DC Comics film since Batman Begins. So I went in with those low expectations and walked out seeing the movie I expected.
I understand the majority of the movie takes place under water or at least in water so it has to rely on CG, but this looks ridiculously fake. The Atlantean setting looks laughable especially when the characters are swimming around or fighting. Jason Momoa’s Aquaman fights his half-brother Patrick Wilson when he first visits Atlantis and it’s clearly not the two actors. It’s CG bodies with their faces. I don’t like the look, never have. The final battle reminded me of a Michael Bay Transformers flick where you can’t tell who is who and what’s happening. It’s loud and excessive and looks like a blur to me.
I also didn’t love the story. Aquaman has already been established in the DC Movie Universe thanks to Justice League, a full on backstory isn’t necessary. All the flashbacks and storyline with his mother and father aren’t that necessary. A little bit is fine, but the success of comic book movies over the past 10 years should show that the audience already knows the backstory or doesn’t care about it. If you hadn’t already established the character in Justice League sure, but it feels like a step backwards. Marvel made The Avengers after solo films with Iron-Man, Thor, Cap, Hulk not before.
Plus this has multiple bad guys for no real reason. Aquaman and King Orm (Wilson’s character) butt heads over who should rule the kingdom. Aquaman and Mera escape to find a special trident so he can lay claim to the throne. Makes enough sense. But the movie also opens with Aquaman saving a submarine and killing a man inside. The dead man’s son wants revenge and turns into Black Manta. Unfortunately that character is forgotten about for chunks at a time and seems like a waste in the movie. Black Manta should have been saved for a sequel after establishing all this other storyline.
I usually like James Wan films, but only one scene really stood out to me. The rest of the movie looked like every other blockbuster movie and lacked his style. Aquaman and Mera are on a boat that’s attacked by creatures and that’s totally Wan’s style. His horror background really showed there, the rest not so much.
Aquaman will make some money, it already has internationally. People seem to like Jason Momoa and they will show up to see the movie. Will they actually like it is the question. Early reviews seemed to be positive but we know what’s behind that. I’m not a fan of CGI-heavy movies so this didn’t do much for me. The story wasn’t necessary and the acting was pretty bad as well especially from actors I normally like. But you’ll see this if you want to so it’s pretty much a review-proof film.
Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Ludi Lin, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, and Nicole Kidman