Review of Aquaman

aquaman

Aquaman is a DC superhero movie that was released at the (fish) tail end of 2018. It stars Jason Momoa, the muscle man from Hawaii, whose performance in Conan is best left unseen. Aquaman, aka Arthur Curry, is the offspring of an Atlantis royal and a lighthouse keeper. I bought the film during a recent iTunes sale for seven quid, although apparently you can get the DVD from Amazon for much cheaper. The story sees Aquaman attempt to foil an Atlantis invasion of the surface world, which is being led by his brother Ocean Master. Although the flick runs for over two hours, it’s such an enjoyable action adventure that I never found myself wishing that it would end faster.

Curry is a hero who fights for justice using brawn and a telepathic ability that gives him command over any sea creature. Mera, an Atalantean princess who can manipulate water, aids Aquaman in this live action feature. She is portrayed by Texas beauty Amber Heard. She looked stunning in a cleavage flaunting emerald costume – schwing, what a sexy bird. The pair travel to Africa and Italy in search of a mystical trident that could potentially stop the upcoming war. Whoever wields said weapon can claim mastery of Atlantis’ throne and army, according to ancient lore.

Ocean Master gets wind of this scheme and decides to recruit the services of a pirate named Blank Manta. He equips the criminal with advanced armour and orders him to give Aquaman the gift of death (like an evil version of Santa). Their subsequent showdown in Sicily was a visual treat. Kudos must go to horror veteran director James Wan, because every action scene he filmed was sweet. All the battles were easy to follow, as they are well choreographed and don’t resort to using excessive jump cuts like other blockbusters do. I really hate it when films do that – Hunger Games I am looking at you!

Given how good the duels between Aquaman and Black Manta were it’s a real shame that the villain doesn’t get more scenes. I suspect he will appear more prominently in Aquaman 2, let us hope it doesn’t take too long for a sequel to hit cinema screens. Thanks to the mix of colourful CGI, comedy and action the movie avoided being yet another DC flop. In fact, from what I recall, back when it made its debut on the week’s blockbuster movie chart Aquaman finished top. It looks like Marvel’s rivals are starting to improve. Shazam and Joker were also well received by moviegoers, so it appears that DC and Warner Bros have finally found their groove.

On a five point scale I am giving Aquaman a four. I am not a big fan of the comics, but the movie adaptation was great – in that aspect it mirrors my feelings on Thor. Some viewers may disagree and say the content is childish. Screw them because, in my opinion, soldiers who ride sharks are badass and a hero who can pull off a gold top with green pants is stylish. It’s refreshing to see a DC movie that isn’t promoting a cinematic universe or even worse is dark just for the sake of being dark. The DC films helmed by Zack Snyder were guilty of that, James Wan went with a more lighthearted approach instead and hit it out of the park.

25 thoughts on “Review of Aquaman

  1. That lighthearted feel has been cornered by Marvel for a long time. Good to see DC make it work as well. People shouldn’t forget the Super Friends, after all. Momoa was also very good in Game of Thrones, though he wasn’t on the show very long.

    • This movie and Shazam prove that DC can rival Marvel when it comes to light hearted movies. Nothing wrong with dark stories, if it fits the character though. The Dark Knight trilogy for example and I hear Joker is excellent too. I first heard of Momoa from Stargate Atlantis. I guess he likes that underwater kingdom haha.

    • It’s not a story telling masterpiece, but works as a movie that embraces its comic roots and has fun with it. Aquaman is lesser known that Superman, but surprisingly was more fun to watch than Man of Steel.

    • Dark works Batman, but shouldn’t be pushed on other DC heroes. I think DC should stick to standalone films. Apart from Marvel most studios have failed with the shared universe idea. I imagine watching the underwater sections in 3D would be cool, but alas I saw this on a tablet screen.

    • Way Way off topic here: I tried to get a punk-synth band duo together in 1982 I named “Aquaman”. We would be like somewhere between the Human League and the Pet Shop Boys, only we would cover swingin’ Frank Sinatra tunes.
      I wanted to exploit the New Wave supper clubs trend which … also … never happened somehow.

      Sad to say “Aquaman” never got off the ground (sea level?). My buddy had the Flock-of-Seagulls haircut and everything.
      But alas — (cough) No talent.

  2. Jason Momoa also played Khal Drogo in season one of Game of Thrones. He’s of Hawaiian descent and is well suited to playing muscular leading men with long hair… although I’ve not seen his portrayal of Conan yet.

    • Conan got a lot of negative reviews, back when it came out. I didn’t hate it as much as some folks, but given the general consensus it’s not something I would recommend. Momoa has the charisma and looks of an action star. He could have done well back in the eighties.

  3. Yeah there’s nothing uncool about riding a shark into battle! It’s such a cool concept and it’s like when the guy ran in with the raptors in the recent Jurassic World film. It’s really surreal, but just works really well. The visuals here were outstanding

      • Yeah that was the one with the ghost of Jaws or his mother right? I remember the plot being really crazy for that one. Then it followed an airplane across the world…..that’s some shark!

  4. You liked it a bit more than I did.

    Aside from how there were no bubbles when the characters were speaking underwater, my biggest beef was how Black Manta’s costume made him look like a Tokusatsu villain. >.<

    • Now that you mention it, Black Manta wouldn’t look out of place in those shows. I think his design would look better with a smaller helmet, but that’s what it looks like in the comics so I am not gonna complain.

  5. My sister and I loved watching Aquaman while our parents were saying ‘isn’t he too muscular for a hero? ‘. Aquaman is really badass and I loved the overall storyline of it .

  6. Great review, I also enjoyed Aquaman and perhaps more so on second viewing. It’s a little cheesy but isn’t pretentious and wears it’s charms with on it’s sleeve – and runs with it. Great visuals, action and direction from James Wan and a likeable central performance from Jason Mamoa (luckily I haven’t seen the Conan remake, haha).

    • It’s a little bit cheesy, but then again that’s to be expected from a hero who controls undersea creatures. I’m glad the had fun with the material rather than try to make Aquaman dark. That said I hear the run, in the comics, were they made him a more serious character worked.

    • You can probably pick up the DVD for not a lot of money. I think Warner Bros is making their own streaming service, so they would host the movie there eventually. Streaming services offer good value, but alas there are too many out there at the moment.

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