Aquaman Movie Non-Spoiler Review

by Jay Cochran
December 21, 2018
Review by: Cheryl Lee-Pow

This week finally premieres the long-awaited DC Universe Aquaman, a standalone movie separate from the other members of the Justice League starring Jason Momoa as the titular lead Arthur Curry aka Aquaman. This movie continues from the Justice League movie but takes us to a different space and – well thank goodness for that. Justice League did not fare well with most critics or fans. It failed in many ways, and heavy hopes were placed on both Aquaman and Wonderwoman to help revitalize the DC Universe. DC hopes to steal some of the spotlight away from the blockbuster-breaking Marvel Universe. Does it have that capability? Honestly, not currently! Unless major changes are made in the DC Universe, it has a lot of catching up to do. Perhaps the studio should take notes from DC’s success on television.

Aquaman did bring some changes for the better. The movie’s tone was more lighthearted than expected from DC, a universe where the sun never seems to come out and play. The underworld adventures of Aquaman reminds us of that feeling we had when we first saw James Cameron’s Avatar. An awe-inspiring world never seen before that makes you want to believe Atlantis is truly real. As a true comic fan since I was a teenager, Arthur Curry was usually depicted as the all powerful king of the seas, a know-it-all stick-in-the-mud. The character was always very serious in his job as ruler of all things below land. This version of Aquaman is very much different. We have a playful Arthur Curry who initially is unsure of himself. Jason Momoa’s style of acting gives Aquaman a more lighthearted version of Arthur Curry that you can fall in love with.

Audiences that fell for the smoldering Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones with surely like this side of Momoa. He has come a long way from his days on Stargate: Atlantis when he was half the size he is now but still with the famous long hair. To the awkwardness of Conan to his awakening as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. I may not be a die hard fan but Momoa earned my respect. I look forward to watching his career progress – almost a mirror image to “The Rock”, Dwayne Johnson.

The rest of cast balances and rounds out the movie. When Nicole Kidman plays Atlanna, mother of Arthur and Orm, one can’t help but be interested. Amber Heard as Mera is fun and, with her own powers wielding water, just as interesting as Aquaman. As her character falls in love with Curry more and more, so does the audience and we appreciate her ability to keep him balanced. No matter where William Dafoe ends up – as the bad guy in Spiderman or a good guy - he always brings something special to the table. The rest of the cast does an okay job adding to Aquaman’s history and plot. I personally would have liked a little more intensity from Patrick Wilson’s King Orm and Yahya Abdul Mateen’s Black Manta. In the comics Black Manta has an important role in molding Aquaman into the King of the Seas. We will see how that pans out.

The storyline is not that hard to figure out with the rather obvious treachery and the “hidden” secrets. But it is a fun ride to watch the Under Sea world unfold and how expansive it is. I did enjoy picking at some of the obvious logic flaws and inconsistencies.

- I guess decompression sickness isn’t a factor for Atlanteans as they move from the depths of the oceans to airplanes and deserts.
- No matter how good the CGI is, one flare won’t protect you from that many creatures.
- Swimming mach-10 under the oceans while fighting the villain and he never loses his comfy linen pants. Can I have that tailor?
- Does he ever eat? We know he likes to drink – his tolerance for alcohol is amazing, but we never see him eat anything.

Again, the frequent lighthearted moments are different from the darkness the DC Universe usually is known for. The video game reference to Arthur Curry vs. King Orm did give us a giggle.

Is Aquaman strong enough to keep the DC Universe going? As a solo title, the movie definitely stands up. But to save the Universe, DC needs more help than Wonder Woman and Aquaman can offer.



Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
elongatedman - 2018-12-21 @ 9:54 pm

i have to say not a perfect movie but i like it a lot 8 out 10

memocromatico - 2018-12-21 @ 4:54 pm

I really wanted to love this. But as with the rest of the DCEU, it feels just barely ok. Not saying it was bad at all, just not as exciting as other movies. Then again, same could be said about Thor and Dark World, which this is slightly better than, IMO.

FASVB - 2018-12-21 @ 2:39 pm

I watched last week and I can say without a doubt that so far this is the second best DCEU movie. Wonder Woman is hard to beat.

Justice League is definitely the worse one.

To me is

1 - WonderWoman

2 - Aquaman -

3 - BvS

4 - Man of Steel

5 - Justice League

Now we have to see how the Shazam movie will be.

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