Aquaman (Movie Review)

Oscar Rendon | St. Louis, MO | December 23rd, 2018

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Aquaman stars Jason Momoa (Justice League), Amber Heard (Justice League), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring), Nicole Kidman (Batman Forever), Dolph Lundgren (Arrow), and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Get Down). After the events of Justice League we are thrusted into the world below the surface as we follow Arthur Curry’s journey to becoming king, hero, Aquaman.


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Aquaman (2018) closes out the year for DC and for comic book films, the film has it’s triumphs and cheese we expect it to when dealing with the character of Aquaman. Bringing to life this often ridiculed hero for his orange and green spandex was a task James Wan took on and won. The film is visually stunning from the start of the opening scene when we meet a young (Nicole Kidman) Queen Atlanna and Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison) all the way to the end with the climactic third act. Quickly we get the character building of Black Manta and his interaction with Arthur which sets off a sub-plot in the film but an important one for future installments of the franchise. Yahya doesn’t play any old villain but a villain with motive and purpose and the film does a great job highlighting that and why Manta hates Aqauman so much. The best part of the Manta/Aquaman plot is that it shows us the audience that Aquaman isn’t Aquaman but just Arthur Curry from the start of the film and that he really isn’t a hero or a conventional one at that. Acting in these big budget films tends to get lost but there was a lot of campiness that the film poked fun at about Aquaman’s lore in the comics and it could also take itself serious when it needed to.

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Amber Heard joins Momoa’s Aquaman as Princess Mera from Atlantis, we would venture to say that she is by far one of the big standouts in this film. Her delivery of her lines to the expressions on her face told a story and made fun for the back and forth she and Arthur had. Patrick Wilson as King Orm (Arthur’s half-brother) plays the main protagonist and his motives in the film are less clear than Manta’s. His story is given to us sort of in it’s middle. We don’t know why he does what he does only that he wants to start a war with the surface. A lot of his character development is lost up until the third act in which we believe we will see more of him in films to come. The action was phenomenal and choreographed greatly from the tracking one shots to the blend of CG and practical fighting shots underwater. James Wan and company really cared for this film and gave it a lot of time to sit with us. Next to Wonder Woman, Aquaman sits atop as one of the more enjoyable and well thought out films DC has put out. They deliver on a character people said couldn’t be done, they bring to life Atlantis and if you pay close attention, theres a nod to book and film in the 2nd to 3rd act of the film. Overall the film was fun, engaging, told a great story about becoming a hero and treated it’s characters with care.

The Grade

B