AQUAMAN (2018)


Directed By: James Wan
Written By: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick & Will Beall
Story By: Geoff Johns, Will Beall & James Wan
Based On The Character “Aquaman: Created By: Paul Norris & Mort Wesinger
Cinematography By: Don Burgess
Editor: Kirk Morri 

Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lungdren, Yahya Abdul-Manteen II, Temeura Morrison, Leigh Whannell, Michael Beach, Randall Park 

Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

Not the horror show I was prepared for. The film stays entertaining throughout by having more of a hero at the center who seems more a mercenary or looks that way and seems to only be heroic out of a kind of duty that was instilled in him. Not as a passion.

The film feels more like a globe spanning romantic adventure.

It’s interesting when growing up DC universe characters were always the more traditional good too shoes, but now with these live action movies you have Batman who has always been somber but now AQUAMAN whose film whirl shiny and bright ones more with an attitude and talk back comments.

The films is perfect if you have kids especially between the ages of 10 and 13 as it gives more of a traditional super hero epic that feels honorable and fun. Though for adults it might seem a bit more ridiculous, but the movie never gets bogged down with existential plot points. It allows for story but guarantees you won’t get bored as there is an action sequence, fight or impressive special effect almost every five minutes.

Though from the earlier DC universe movies this one at least has more of a sense of humor and feels lighter. It still isn’t as good as WONDER WOMAN, but is definitely an improvement over the other more Recent DC films. Let’s hope this continues the tradition.

In many ways the film is quite impressive all around in the form of art and production design as well as costume design. Including the special effects make-up.

This is a movie that is the perfect epitome of a comic book movie. Not too advanced and no subtle hidden agendas. It is made to entertain and maybe inspire kids through moral lessons. It stays colorful and impressively designed. Hits all the right notes it’s supposed to.

Jason Momoa is great in the lead even if he looks more like submariner in physical looks rather than the classic examples of AQUAMAN, but at least the film shows somewhat a kind of diversity. Even if all the kingdoms of the deep seem to be Caucasian.

The rest of the cast perfectly fill out their roles and even though it’s a comic book movie there are some deaths and violence but never graphic. It does end in a CGI level intense fighting where it all seems more special effects and animation then anything.

It’s weakness is only that it feels familiar. It’s fits Into the modern times but also like the recent movie VENOM also feels like it is More indebted and designed from an earlier decade the 1980’s In particular. As it is obviously an event film but there are times when the soundtrack pipes up with an original Song that you can tell was originally written for this film and it doesn’t quite work even though it is meant to get the audience pumped up or in the mood. There are also scenes where there will be close up’s on characters faces and then a theme will play they tells you all the emotions you are supposed to be feeling so music manipulation.

The villain also isn’t very strong. Patrick Wilson does a fine job in his performance, but there is something missing that doesn’t make him quite as memorable or dastardly. As like in BLACK PANTHER they are related. Here they are half siblings and the villain believes what he is doing is right and best for his people waging war with with the land dwellers. So he never seems evil for evils sake, but he also lacks the sadism and danger that a villain needs. He also seems to lack an impressive dangerous right hand man assassin.

Yahya Abdul-Manteen II who plays Black Manta the other villain more out For revenge is a bit more impressive. Even if his costume seems a bit too comic book and laughable in it’s appearances. Though his motivation is more understandable. Even if without the suit and technology he is pretty useless.

Setting up the sequels seems a bit silly. Even though Understandably necessary.

One of the more impressive scenes is the quest for the Trident where he faces not only an impressive gigantic sea creature but must deal with zombie seeming mermen. Which brings the only scary and challenging element to the film. As at first they seem like Aquaman’s version of the Borg from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.

Director James Wan really brings his a game here and I will admit Next To THE CONJURING this might be my favorite of all of his films.

Grade: C+

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