So I am going to say this once: if you have not seen Aquaman this is your final spoiler warning. Do not continue!
To explain the type of movie Aquaman is can be difficult, partially because it doesn’t appear to know the answer to that question itself. At times it appears to be a stylistic action movie mixed with stunning fight scenes (the best of which comes from Nicole Kidman to start the film), to a comedy movie doing its best to emulate Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy, to a romance (the best scenes are those that have Jason Momoa and Amber Heard interacting with each other). Some of this may be eyebrow-raising, but it does not change how enjoyable at times the movie can be.
However, if you think about it, its lack of identity is understandable. This is a movie about a dude who talks to fish, swims really fast, and is super strong. It’s not rooted heavily in reality which is why a Man of Steel or Batman V Superman treatment would not have worked, because frankly, the premise is ridiculous. Which is why James Wan, who is best known for directing Furious 7 from the Fast and the Furious franchise, is a perfect choice to helm this movie. Just like Aquaman, Fast and the Furious is equally ridiculous.
There are strong performances throughout the movie, most notably from Jason Momoa himself, who seems to really love being this character, to Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, and Patrick Wilson (Who am I really to believe is portraying Aquaman’s “younger” brother?).
If I really had to pinpoint parts of this movie that I had to complain about, besides its corniness (which honestly, isn’t that bad), it’s the portrayal of Black Manta by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. While everyone in the movie seems to be having fun, he just exists and doesn’t make any real impact besides being teased as the main villain for Aquaman 2. The most laughable scene is his montage when building his suit out of Atlantian technology, which I couldn’t help but hear Joe Esposito’s You’re the Best Around from The Karate Kid instead of whatever pop song was actually playing.
Yes, Aquaman is a fun movie and shows that maybe all is not lost at Warner Bros. Perhaps should stick to solo superhero movies as opposed to huge Avengers-esque team-ups. Moral of the story, learn to walk before you run. Marvel had to endure the criticism surrounding Iron Man 2 before they released fan favorite, Avengers, remember that when your creative team is discussing “Flashpoint Paradox”.
Aquaman is a solid film and easily earns 4 out of 5 Couch Cushions.
Aquaman is in theaters now.
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.
Directed by: James Wan
Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman
Written by: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall, Geoff Johns, James Wan, Will Beall