Let’s be honest, overall the DCEU has not impressed. Even DC Comics fans have not enjoyed the best adaptations of some of the oldest superhero characters. But all of that is changing, first with Wonder Woman and now with James Wan’s Aquaman. The film is a rollicking adventure that leans into the ridiculous and fun, and leaves the darkness of the Snyder-verse far behind, despite many opportunities to wallow in that darkness.
The film begins with a voice over, the adult Arthur Curry, quickly running through how his parents met and his first couple of years. Nicole Kidman plays his mother Atlanna and Temuera Morrison, his father Tom. Their initial happy years are interrupted by Atlantis politics as Atlanna must go back to keep Arthur and his father safe. This abbreviated origin is one of the difficulties facing James Wan as the film has to cram in Arthur’s origin, his conflict with being half-Atlantean and half-surface dweller, the machinations of his half-brother Orm, and the hero’s journey that Arthur embarks on to become the King and hero of Atlantis that the surface world needs. I haven’t even mentioned the Mera romance because it is completely half-baked and the chemistry between the ever-charming Jason Momoa and brilliant actor Amber Heard is just non-existent.
The film moves at a breakneck speed from action set piece to action set piece as if it is too afraid that audiences will catch on to the absurdity of the premise if it takes time to develop the quieter moments. If audiences can accept the absurdity of Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarök, they can accept the story of a fishman.
Jason Momoa’s Arthur is interesting; he is certainly charming and likeable, but his central conflict with Atlantis gets no development time.
The actors all float through the film as if this were filmed underwater with their hair floating and moving realistically.
Grumpy Old Man who still collects toys (THEY. ARE. NOT. DOLLS), PC Gamer lured to the Dark Side of console gaming, comic book reader and fan of all things pop culture.
Please login to post comments.
21 December 2018
Latest ReviewsBrowse All Reviews