Release Date: December 21st, 2018
Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Nicole Kidman
Director: James Wan
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Films, The Safran Company, Cruel and Unusual Films, Mad Ghost Productions
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
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The next entry in the… tumultuous DCEU is splashing down. Aquaman is here, Atlantis has come calling!
Since his defeat of the invading Steppenwolf, Arthur Curry (Aquaman) has been sticking to his usual beat defending the Seven Seas, saving sailors, and beating up pirates.
After a brief origin story describing the meeting of his mother Atlanta and father, Jango Fett, Aquaman jumps in feet first with a mercenary attack on a submarine. The men, led by Black Manta and Dad Manta, are quickly defeated when Aquaman shows up, deflecting bullets and beating them within an inch of their life.
He leaves Dad Manta for dead, creating a mortal enemy. We see as much of Aquaman’s origin as we do Black Manta’s which feels refreshing in its own way.
Shortly thereafter, Arthur learns of his half brothers plans and that he must thwart lest the surface world be destroyed by the might of Atlantis.
The movie sidesteps the common origin story. Instead of spending the first 30 minutes on Aquaboy, the story is told in flashbacks. Aquaman isn’t as well known as Batman or Spider-Man so these detours are necessary, but sticking to the important pieces of exposition for the plot speeds things up for the better. Less little boy and family talk, more wild sea monsters!
While we’re talking about exposition, boy oh boy does this movie dump it. Very regularly, and very poorly. Characters espouse the nonsense in dialogue and it is rough.
But you know what? At least the movie’s fun. Less a self-serious superhero flick (like the majority of the DCEU) and more a silly adventure romp, Aquaman takes us through magical worlds full of fish people, underwater humans, crabkin, piranhafolk, drumming octopi and so much more. It is a trip.
The exposition might be rough on the ears, but everything else on screen is real easy on the eyes, not just Momoa (but definitely Momoa)
Momoa brings his swagger to bear as Arthur Curry and despite the clunky dialogue still brings a charisma to the role
The action looks rad. The scenery and world look more interesting than anything we’ve ever seen in the DCEU yet.
Aquaman is far from a great movie, it might not even be particularly good, but it’s fun and that’s more than everything else (Wonder Woman aside) Warner Bros and the DCEU has put out.