Dir. James Wan
Reviewed by Matt (@Cleric20) Adcock
“My father was a lighthouse keeper. My mother was a queen. But life has a way of bringing people together. They made me what I am.”
Here’s DC’s soggier alternative to Marvel’s Black Panther – a tale of an exiled king who must return to his kingdom and help his people… Arthur Curry / Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is half human / half Atlantean superhero – he can swim really fast, kick ass and erm, talk to fish.
Abandoned to live on the land after his mother, Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) Queen of Atlantis is banished back to the sea, Aquaman wants nothing to do with his underwater legacy. That changes when princess Mera (Amber Heard) comes to the surface to warn that Curry’s half-brother Orm(Patrick Wilson) plans to attack the land dwellers and challenges him to return and save both those on land and sea from a war.
Also in the mix is a self-made supervillain Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a pirate with a grudge against Curry for his part in his father’s death. But can the hard-drinking, laid-back fishy muscle dude battle all the enemies, find the legendary trident that will secure his birth right to the throne of Atlantis and maybe find time to woo Mera along the way?
Director James ‘Saw’ Wan has his work cut out as he ramps up the comic book action along with trying to build an almost Star Wars alike subaquatic nation whose people ride sharks and sea horses, have power rifles that work both under water and in our atmosphere and whose tribes include the piranha headed monsters of ‘the trench’.
There is a lot of creativity packed into Aquaman – but it cracks along at such a furious pace that it feels a little hard to keep up with all the mythos being thrown at the screen.
The fight scenes are probably the highpoints of the film even if the underwater ones feel weird due to the weightlessness of suspended gravity-less movement. Momoa proved adept at battling baddies in Justice League alongside Superman etc – but whilst the events of that film are referenced he doesn’t get to call on the help of his super pals to help out this time. The obligatory massive scale final battle is an eye-popping CGI extravaganza as various factions including those ruled by stony faced Nereus (Dolph Lundgren – getting more work than ever at the moment).
Aquaman could have been a massively fishy flop but due mostly to its sheer gusto and a winning lead character it somehow manages to be an entertaining action romp. This fish out of water adventure is worth a look.
Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3 - Not very new but entertaining none the less)
Awesomeness ööö – Occasionally bursts into life
Laughs ööö – some good funnies
Horror öö – Mild peril and a occasional scares
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - What is greater than a King? A hero...