DC movies are generally not reviewed well by me. I have a beef with the reliance on CGI for everything in them. The seemingly Marvel lite dialog in the scripts since they noticed no one wants Superman or the entire Justice League to feel like Christopher Nolan directed their cinematic endeavors.
But, it seems that DC is beginning to turn a corner and right the ship of the DCEU. First with a fantastic Wonder Woman film and now with a grand adventure under the sea in Aquaman.
In all honesty I’ve never liked Jason Momoa’s version of Aquaman. Not necessarily because of him but, because he’s a giant frat boy. It grates after a bit to be frank. I did notice though that he was allowed to be a bit toned down from the version we got in Justice League but, there’s enough yelping and woowhoos to remind me of that iteration.
Maybe, the plan is to reduce this aspect of him as he adjusts more to being Atlantean royalty. All I know is, it needs to progressively wane from his being as it is a part of the reason this movie isn’t higher rated. As far as action is concerned this film has the superhero fighting down to a science. I was never bored or felt like “oh that’s been done before whilst watching events on the battlefield unfold.
The one-on-one fights were choreographed well and the large battles felt chaotic and grand. Amber Heard as Mera is there. Not distracting nor does she really add anything to the proceedings she’s just…there. The love story of Arthur Curry and Mera is integral to the Aquaman mythos but, in this particular script it feels forced and unnatural. Willem Dafoe plays Vulko, Aquaman’s trainer and friend. He’s a good guy but, with that signature smile I just kept waiting for him to turn on our hero.
Dolph Lundgren continues to make his comeback, with yet another appearance in another big movie. First Creed 2 and now Aquaman. He plays Mera’s father and king to one of the underwater kingdoms. Ocean Master/Orm was an OK but, whiny villain. With his “everyone loves my half brother but, I wanna be King” schtick that we’ve seen in many a film. The true all-star of the baddies in this one was Black Manta, played by actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. He, rules the screen whenever he’s on it. Bringing an “it’s about to go down!” factor whenever he’s present. It felt like more focus should’ve been placed on him as he has a legitimate beef with the Aquaman.
I absolutely loved how they built the world in this movie as it brought a feel to how large and varied the world Atlantis inhabits is.The film has been called “Underwater Thor” and I feel like it lives up to that nickname through making it feel like a world within the world away from the world of mankind. I really dug that aspect and fully expect them to dive deeper into the other locals and kingdoms going forward.
All in all with the cast holding down the fort whilst Momoa(Aquaman) and Abdul-Mateen II(Black Manta)chewing up scenery and stealing the spotlight I had fun watching Aquaman’s first foray into solo hero work. I loved the world they’re building and hope the franchise and even future Justice League films utilize the varied and plush world they’ve given us. Solid to fantastic action sequences and an awesome Julie Andrews feature Aquaman is my favorite DC film since Christian Bale hung up the pointy ears and cape. I give it 4.25 out of 5.