Aquaman – Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)

The title card for DC's Aquaman.
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Aquaman, alongside last year’s Wonder Woman, reminds you that DC was the first to create classic comic book characters and movies.


Director(s) James Wan
Written By David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall
Date Released (Fan Event) 12/15/2018
Genre(s) Action, Adventure
Good If You Like Sarcastic Heroes Who Don’t Necessarily Want To Be Big Time Heroes

Women Kicking Ass

Lots of CGI & Special Effects

Noted Cast
Arthur (Aquaman) Jason Momoa
Atlanna Nicole Kidman
Vulko Willem Dafoe
Mera Amber Heard
Orm Patrick Wilson
Black Manta Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Nereus Dolph Lundgren
Tom Temuera Morrison
Dr. Shin Randall Park

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Aquaman‘s Plot (Ending on 2nd Page)

Up in a small town in Maine is where Arthur, named by social media as Aquaman, had his home base. It was where his father, Tom, while attending his lighthouse, met his mother, Atlanna, sometime in 1985. It is the place where, after him mom was coerced to leave, someone loyal to her, Vulko, trained Arthur in hopes he’d become king. It is also where Mera, the betrothed of Arthur’s half-brother Orm, met him in hopes he may challenge her fiancé for the crown.

Why? Well, after his mind being long tainted by his father Orvax, he has come to the idea that a war against the surface is called for. But, with very few of the water people desiring war with the surface, even taking note of the pollution and dangers they pose, he is forced to seek ways to inspire the people. One way is using the man who would become Black Manta to organize what would look like a preemptive assault. From there, King Orm, alongside King Nereus, Mera’s father, begin to attack the other kingdoms in order to get the majority to fall under King Orm. Thus giving him the title of Ocean Master and giving him all the power he needs to destroy the surface. That is, unless Aquaman, his older half-brother, gets in his way.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Where is Atlantis in Aquaman’s world?

Highlights

That Fight Scenes Are Flinch Worthy

Arthur (Jason Momoa) looking intensely towards the camera.
Arthur (Jason Momoa)

The stunts in this movie don’t fit what you expect from a comic book movie. They seem like they are from a rated R movie but without blood and a person’s guts hanging around. It’s like no punches were held back and when it came to dealing with being hit with visual effects, everyone was well versed even in something as unique as how taking a grenade launcher bullet would feel.

Though the scenes which are the most noteworthy aren’t just Arthur’s fight scenes, Mera and Atlanna have quite a few as well. While Wonder Woman and Black Widow, in the Marvel Universe, have well-choreographed fight scenes, these two ladies take the cake. But considering the people who worked on this film took part in Mad Max: Fury Road, Wolverine’s solo projects, as well as worked on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, what you expect?

Jason Momoa

It seems strange to read Momoa has auditioned to be in the MCEU and was either looked at for a villain or passed over, likely, to play Drax. For if there is one thing Aquaman proves is that he deserves to be a lead actor in a franchise. Not because of his physique, which helps, but because he has that charisma which draws you in and makes you want to invest in the highs and lows of his character.

Now, granted, as said below, the emotional bits aren’t necessarily his wheelhouse. However, when it comes to kicking ass, sarcasm, and intensity? He, alongside Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, may save DC from rushing this rebirth of their classic characters.

On The Fence

The Emotional Bits Are Hit and Miss

Tom (Temuera Morrison) and Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) holding baby Arthur.
Tom (Temuera Morrison) and Atlanna (Nicole Kidman)

With being an origin story, you know there has to be something about parents being dead, betrayal, and moments when it seems all is lost. Aquaman has all this but it fails to really bring about a significant emotional response. Well, at least out of me and while I don’t cry at the drop of a hat, it usually doesn’t take much for me to get a little misty. However, there is something stale about any attempts to create an emotional moment. Be it Manta losing his father, Arthur talking about losing his mom, or even watching his dad, for decades, go to where Atlanna said she’d return and him doing so even after Arthur says she is dead.

You’ll recognize, in a handful of moments, there is supposed to be an emotional apex but for some reason, the scenes just fall flat. But what do you expect from two writers whose work is either horror movies or action productions? Gotta start somewhere and the first try is rarely the best one.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing) | Purchase, Rent, or Get Tickets On (Fandango)

Aquaman, like many a comic book movie, unfortunately, requires you to put yourself in a mindset that this is meant to entertain, not be seen as some Oscar-caliber film. But, you have to remember there is nothing wrong with that. A film being fun, rather light, and doesn’t push you to check your phone clock too much isn’t a bad thing.

Hence the positive label. Momoa commands the screen, brings this intensity in his performance which seemingly the stunt team picked up, and while the emotional moments fall flat, this is but the beginning of the brand new DCEU. You have to give this soft-reboot time to learn from its mistakes before you can truly craft a standard to hold it to.

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