I’m not the biggest comic book reader, in my younger years I’ve only read Batman and The Punisher comics. So, I’ve only learned about Aquaman from the show Entourage. During that show’s second season, its star ended up playing Aquaman and fans of the comic were hoping an actual film based on the character would be a reality soon. That’s over 10 years ago and now fans can finally see the super hero from the ocean make a splash on the big screen worldwide.
In a long and very cheesy opening, we learned how Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) became a super hero known as Aquaman. One day his father Tom (Temuera Morrison) found his wounded mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) on the shore of the ocean. Atlanna told Tom she’s from an ancient city under the ocean called Atlantis, I didn’t really pay attention as to why she decided to come to the surface. Anyhoo, Tom and Atlanna fell in love and had a son and they named him Arthur. One day the army from Atlantis came and took Atlanna back to her home land.
Years later, Arthur is now a full-grown man and known to earthlings as Aquaman. The story took place after the events of Justice League. One day a princess named Mera (Amber Heard) came to the surface and asked Arthur to come to Atlantis and claim his place as the king of the ocean. She also needs his help to stop Arthur’s half brother King Orm (Patrick Wilson) from starting a war that could wipe out everyone living on the surface of the ocean. Reluctantly, Arthur agreed to go with Mera and both must face many obstacles in order to save the world from a mad king.
Five screenwriters were credited with the story, yet the plot of the film is a very simple one. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before and some of the dialogs were very cheesy. Now maybe that’s the goal of this film, many people have complained that DC films are way too dark and serious, so they’ve decided to make this one a very light and cheesy. Director James Wan took inspirations from many films including Star Wars, Avatar, Indiana Jones, Tron: Legacy, Batman Begins and countless others that I couldn’t think of right now. And that’s my main gripe with the film, I don’t mind when a director decided to copy other films, but I expect them to re-interpret it as their own. Wan decided to just copy films that I mentioned, in fact there were two sequences in the film that he stole from Tron: Legacy and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. His pacing is also a bit off, at almost 2 and half hours long, a lot of scenes could have been cut out.
Performance wise, Momoa is definitely the main draw. He looked like he had a great time playing the silly super hero and his charisma really help made this film watchable. Veterans such as Kidman, William Defoe, Dolph Lundgren and Morrison also looked like they had a good time in the film. Unfortunately, the other leads Heard and Wilson looked too stiff or bored in their respective roles. I didn’t really see any chemistry between Heard and Momoa, mostly because I thought heard just looked too stiff in the role. Wilson’s villain is another long line of one-dimensional superhero antagonist and he looked bored.
I think the only saving grace for this film is its beautiful effects, with limitless budget, Wan and his team did a great job of creating the underwater world. They also did a great job with the 3D effects, heck I thought this film might have been one of the best I’ve seen in 3D. I didn’t really hate Aquaman, it’s just too long and kind of a mess. With more originality in the script and action scenes, it could’ve a been a fun superhero film.
So have you seen AQUAMAN? Well, what did you think?
6 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: AQUAMAN (2018)”
Nice review! I’m a little higher on this thing. I kinda fell for its craziness and found myself having a really good time start to finish. Anxious to give it another look to see if I hold the same impressions.
Thanks Keith. I was entertained but the chopping editing, cheesy dialogs, unoriginal script and direction, I just couldn’t give it any higher than my current rating. If Wan made an effort to actually do something original with the action scenes, it could’ve been a lot better. But when I can name each of the action scenes he stole from other films, it just didn’t sit well with me.
I’m still not sure about the Jason Momoa pick for Aquaman. Not only does he not even look like Aquaman, but he also inevitably ends up just being “Jason Momoa in an Aquaman costume” and not actually Aquaman. I don’t know who I would’ve casted instead but I’m positive they could’ve done better.
Well Michael Keaton was cast as Batman and he didn’t look exactly like his comic book counterpart but the two Batman films he starred in were well received. So I don’t think it really matters if the actor matches the look from the comic book or not and according to the box office numbers of Aquaman, not too many people care that he looks like the comic version or not. I’m more interested in if the actual film were good or not. It’s just wasn’t a good film to me but I enjoyed Momoa’s performance.
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