Here’s my take on DC’s number one aquatic hero and lord of the seas, Aquaman. The film stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe and Dolph Lundgren. We also want to credit in this Aquaman review, the director, James Wan. The fillm is showing today in IMAX, 2D and 3D.
The movie is set after the events of Justice League and features Arthur Curry (played by Jason Momoa) living his life and saving people. But he hasn’t embraced his heroic nature nor his royal heritage. Opting instead to work on a low profile. Things change when his half brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) decides to teach the “surface world” a lesson for all the death and pollution they have cause the seas and oceans. Along the way he falls in love and completes a void that has been left behind by the death of his mother, Queen Atlana (Nicole Kidman).
I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure Aquaman would click. While he was the most charismatic character in Justice League, I had doubts that he would falter on his solo adventure. But thanks to the brilliance of director James Wan and his creative team, the guy who talks to fish can now truly be considered a badass.
There’s a certain chemistry between Amber and Jason in the film where they play Mera and Arthur respectively. The former exudes grace and power and innocence in her scenes and when there’s fighting involved, you can also see in the acting that she can hold her own. The latter on the otherhand plays up his strength of being very similar to Aquaman pretty well. It’s not on the same level as RDJ when he was cast as Iron Man a decade ago, but its close. You can see the similarities and the difference. And as we go through the story, we also see him slowly change the way he acts and moves, as if he went throught the same cathartic effect as the viewers.
And yes, Momoa is still acting like a Hawaiian cowboy with a big trident and a bad-ass attitude. Pretty cool.
I love all the small details they added to the film’s effect. Sure there were moments where the CGI definitely looked so 2000’s, it still did a wonderful job of telling Arthur’s story and showing us that Aquaman is not to be trifled with.
The creatures and armor that can be seen all throughout the film was also great and they actually make sense, particularly for one character who gets some serious upgrades thanks to Atlanteans and the “bad guys”.
Jason Momoa and Amber Heard, in the climatic battle also kicked things up a notch in terms of looks. Loved how they managed to make Momoa’s classic orange and green costume look so damn comic-book accurate despite the King of the sea looking a lot different in the comics.
The music had it’s ups and downs. I loved the 8 bit sound they used in Italy while the other tracks were so-so. Props to the creative team also for putting in the classic “Toto” track, “Africa” in one of the lighter moments from the film. The main guitar riff they use for those “pang-wallpaper” scenes isn’t nearly as infectious as Wonder Woman’s theme but it definitely has an attitude of its own. It will need some time getting used to.
James Wan can definitely do two things at once and its evident with how the film goes through various genres like horror and adventure without skippping a beat and not become an incoherent mess as it transforms. For example, we have a light-hearted moment between Arthur and Mera which then graduallly shifts into something from Wan’s “The Conjuring” in terms of creepiness and surprise with the appearance of the creatures known as “The Trench”.
I was expecting a lot of fanservice and throwbacks or easter eggs but surprisingly, they were either well-hidden or its not that much. I’d like to think from this viewing that there could be a lot of nods that I may have missed, all the more reason to watch the movie once more as it starts screening today!
Again small nods and imagery goes a long way to sate fans like the accuracy of Arthur’s costume, Mera’s choice of sea creatures as they do battle and even her powers.
Aquaman had a good dose of humor. They found the right balance too between quips and actual funny situations i.e. Pinnochio. There’s also good chemistry between Momoa and Heard. Patrick Wilson’s Ocean Master was good. I was expecting a whole lot more but Ocean Master needed a lot of luck convincig people to take him seriously, but as the movie continued to roll, we see that he was starting to be written like a traditional comic book villain.
Be wary of the pre-credit scene which neatly sets up Aquaman 2. I’m beginning to think that the strategy of doing pre-credits are a good idea especially for this crowd. Let Marvel do their post-credit and let DC have their pre-credits, easy as that.
Aquaman Review – Verdict
I loved the movie, I love the stars and the creative team behind it. For this Aquaman review here are some of the more harsher things that I need to write down. I didn’t like a few cheesy lines here and there and the bad CG for some scenes. Also there was a scene or two that reminded me of the campiness of shows like “Power Rangers WildForce”. Those were the only things that took it down a notch for me.