There was a time that everyone thought that the DC Extended Universe was all but dead. Between Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Man of Steel, and Justice League, it seemed that they didn’t quite know what the fans wanted. So many dark undertones and bloated run times made those films hard to enjoy. While I somewhat enjoyed BVS and Justice League, it was clear that they needed to take multiple steps in a different direction in order to keep this universe alive. Wonder Woman was absolutely incredible and it showed hope. It is pleasing to say that Aquaman is another awesome installment for DC. While it may not be as good as Wonder Woman, it’s still a lot of fun and visually stunning.
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.
Jason Momoa is a fantastic Aquaman/Arthur. His comedic timing is priceless, not to mention his look and execution of the fight scenes are on point. We saw glimpses of how cool he was in Justice League, but this is what everyone who liked him wanted. Amber Heard is Mera in this one and her performance is simply okay. She’s not a great actress and her fake red hair is so noticeable that it’s almost laughable. She has some cool fight sequences but at times they are overshadowed by weird facial expressions. Her chemistry with Aquaman is pretty convincing, though. The sleeper performance in this one is Willem Dafoe as Vulko. He is pretty important to the story, especially in the young Arthur. Patrick Wilson as King Orm is surprisingly pretty good. In the original trailer, I was skeptical about him as a villain, but he definitely brought it. Manta was also badass even though most of his main scenes were spoiled in the trailer. Nicole Kidman has a pretty pivotal role as Queen Atlanna and as always, she’s great. Overall, the cast is good and is definitely carried by Momoa.
Aquaman is a very entertaining movie. There is some downtime for the characters, but after the first act it feels like 5 minutes of downtime followed by a huge action sequence. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make the movie feel a little overwhelming at times. By the time the third act comes around, there is just SO much happening. Despite this, the movie is pretty easy to follow throughout its 2 hour and 23 minute runtime.Overall, this is a very ambitious spectacle that holds nothing back in terms of action. Some of it gets a little repetitive, but for the most part Aquaman does a good job of feeling fresh from scene to scene.
What stands out the most with Aquaman are the visual effects. They are absolutely STUNNING. After the look in Justice League, it was easy to feel reserved about how good these underwater fights and dialogue exchanges would look. The visual effects team killed it and it will earn them an Oscar Nomination and possibly even a win. In addition to that, the production and costume design were very unique and sophisticated. One of the coolest costumes belong to the Atlantis guards. It is unlike anything ever seen before. Credit is due to director James Wan and his creative team for imagining such a distinctive Atlantis.
There isn’t much about Aquaman that doesn’t work. The main things that stand out are how it’s slightly overwhelming and it tries to be great, but it never quite achieves it. Wonder Woman has a few scenes that make it go from good to great and unfortunately, Aquaman doesn’t have those scenes. However, it is good enough to want another installment (which is already in the works) and see Jason Momoa as Aquaman. He has grown so much as an actor since Game of Thrones and it is safe to assume that he will only get better. Oh yeah and one more thing that stands out is that WE NEED MORE MANTA IN THE FUTURE PLEASE. The scenes of him and Aquaman fighting were so cool and you will want more, guaranteed.
Simply put, Aquaman is badass (Jason Momoa voice). It is not at the level of Wonder Woman, but if DC can continue to put out movies like this, then they will be perfectly fine. Side Note: It’s awful that they ruined Aquaman’s Gold and Green suit in the trailer. That would have been such an awesome moment to see for the first time on the big screen. Trailers just ruin everything and we should stop watching them. But anyway, go see Aquaman. You will be entertained relentlessly.