Who would have thought that it would be two of the most unlikely heroes that could save the entire DC Universe? Last year, we saw Wonder Woman take the DC world to new heights, and this year, Aquaman is continuing to raise that bar. By all means, Aquaman is not perfect, and it’s not quite as polished as Wonder Woman, however, director James Wan has created a film that’s vibrant, action-packed and just plain old entertaining and fun.
Jason Momoa stars as Arthur Curry (aka. Aquaman, half-human, half-Atlantean). In order to protect the surface world from the imminent destruction of his villainous half-brother King Orm (played by Patrick Wilson), Curry is forced to confront his Atlantean ancestry and his worthiness to rule the underwater world. Just to complicate things a further, Curry is also being hunted by the vengeful Black Manta (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). Curry is accompanied by Mera (played by Amber Heard) on his journey to discover if he is worthy to be who he was born to be – the king.
The film gives superhero fans pretty much everything they want to see – a likable and yet reluctant hero, stunning epic scenery, high-octane action-packed sequences, and an interesting film premise. Where Aquaman stands out from the rest of the DC Universe (and even from the rest of the superhero film world in general) is with its visuals. Aquaman is a wondrous feast for the eyes! Wan has created an enchanting and beautiful underwater world which submerges the viewer right into the heart of Atlantis. His intricate and specific attention to details (for example, Mera’s tiny dangling earrings ever-so-slightly flowing with the underwater current) make viewers feel like they are exploring this underwater world right along with the film’s characters.
Amidst the beautiful underwater world of Atlantis, a war is brewing with the surface world which means Aquaman has no shortcomings when it comes to action and explosions. The action is a welcomed balance to the backstory development and keeps the film from feeling “waterlogged.”
Momoa was born to play the role of Aquaman. Though the script and dialogue in the film are quite simplistic, Momoa’s delivery of his lines helps to keep the film fun, interesting, and engaging. Let’s face it. Aquaman is a superhero that hasn’t always been taken seriously, though, with Momoa in the role, the hero becomes less of a joke and more “in on the joke,” so to speak. He plays Arthur Curry with a certain sense of smugness, often delivering his lines with a smirk or a playful tone. It’s Momoa’s performance that ties together all of the humor, attitude, action and sentimental moments which make Aquaman a DC film that has finally found the right formula.
While the script could have been elevated a bit more, and there was absolutely no need for Pitbull to cover Toto’s iconic song Africa (I’m really not ok with this), overall, Aquaman is a solid, family-friendly and enjoyable entry in the DC film universe. Also, make sure you stick around during the credits! There’s a mid-credits bonus scene which you won’t want to miss!
In addition to Momoa, Wilson, and Heard, the film also stars Temuera Morrison (as Tom Curry), Nicole Kidman (as Queen Atlanna), Dolph Lundgren (as King Nereus) and Oscar-nominee Willem Dafoe (as Nuidis Vulko). Peter Safran is producing along with Zack and Deborah Snyder, Rob Cowan, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.
Aquaman officially splashes down into theaters on December 21, 2018.
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