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Aquaman Movie Review (2018) | DCEU Spreads its Wings

Aquaman movie shoehorns its way into the DC universe announcing its arrival with a bang. It proves with all its might why it was naive to judge the fate of a universe with just a handful of movies. That a better future awaits with amazing superhero films that are going to blow every fan away.

DCEU keeps evolving with every release and it is such a pretty sight to watch. They were struggling once to find their ground with average movies like Suicide Squad but now with great directors bolstering its very foundation, the universe seems to have fallen back to safety.

The Direction of Aquaman Movie

James Wan proves once again why he is an exciting director. Aquaman movie has everything in apt amount. Talk action, badassery, humour, theatrics or drama, it scores great numbers in all of them. There is so much content in the movie that you keep getting surprises all along. You are forever basking in all the new wonders that keep showing one after the other and it is overwhelming.

What doesn’t go unnoticed? The excellent camerawork! I love how the cinematographer is asked to move around with action literally dancing on his toes to see every sequence through. With that the fight scenes become outright orgasmic. Right from Atlanna’s (Nicole Kidman‘s) opening blows to the rad entrance of Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) where he nearly destroys Arthur Curry as if he were nothing. The fight sequence of the Ocean Master taking on Curry and the part in The Trench are some of those scenes that successfully register their presence in your brain.

There are so many powerful scenes inscribed that thrill you beyond expectation in Aquaman movie. It is hard not to wish to watch it all over again to relive those badass moments. Each chapter is carefully bridled to complete itself on its own. Like numerous short stories wrapped taut, walking on a tightrope of one primal theme. They all complement the story beautifully.

I liked how the editing in Aquaman movie often takes you back and forth the story, blending both the past and the present. The homogeneity beats the traditional chronology thus getting the job done in as much less time as possible.

Ocean and Earth (Spoilers)

There is already poetry breathing in the concept of a man falling in love with an ocean queen. They have a child who carries the traits of both, the best of both worlds.

My father was a lighthouse keeper. My mother was a queen. But life has a way of bringing people together. 

But the euphoria is short lived as the queen becomes a deserter in the Ocean’s eyes. They keep attacking them until a day arrives when Atlanna decides to go back to the sea and face them to save her husband and child from their wrath. She never returns.

The child, Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), is then the sole responsibility of the husband Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison). There is poetry in the way he goes every single morning to the shore hoping Atlanna would return to him and rekindle their lost love.

“Where I come from, the sea carries our tears away.”

It is a sub-plot that is powerful per se. Although you secretly wish it to linger, there is so much to show that nothing gets shown properly. You know if you take only the part above and spend ample time on it, it is going to end up becoming a brilliant TV series. It is that compelling.

Arthur Curry

Jason Momoa does ample justice to the character of Arthur Curry. With a rare barbaric savagery that he brings on screen, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Aquaman is one of the most badass superheroes in all things DC and Marvel combined. Apart from being phenomenally eloquent and fluent, he brings this untamed raw energy to whatever he does and wherever he goes.

His energy meters are simply next level and you can literally perceive his adrenaline prancing in him like loco. There is sheer beastly strength that he carries at all times and he justifies it with his wrath by never backing down from a fight. It is extremely consuming.

Him being the driving force of the story, everything revolves around Arthur. Jason is simply befitting for the role. You are at all times constantly and secretly thanking the casting directors who had picked the most stylish actor Jason Momoa to portray a superhero like Aquaman.

Mera

Mera (Amber Heard) is an exceptional creation as well. She looks outrageously gorgeous in every attire she dons. She is the powerhouse who keeps making things happen. Swooping in to save Arthur so many times, she is duly capable of taking matters in her own hand.

You think you are unworthy to lead because you are of two different worlds? But that is exactly why you are worthy.

Amber Heard simply nails the role. She tries to spark fires of love through her demeanor, unfortunately, Jason fails to respond as well, with as much passion. The chemistry, hence, simply goes missing. But she portrays her role neatly convincing you of worry, despair, hope, and love.

Redheads, you gotta love them…

She does wild things that make her stand out and fights enemies just as good. The biggest sacrifice Mera does is for Arthur when she chooses to walk on the footprints of Atlanna – a sort of treason for saving his life and then living on the surface.

Black Manta

Probably one of the most significant creations of the entire Aquaman movie is that of the character of Black Manta. He is a mercenary on the prowl for Aquaman’s blood. Why? There’s a backstory to it.

David Kane‘s story tries to hint at misfortune and James Wan lets us dive into it for a quick plunge into the deep waters of conscience. What’s right? What’s wrong? David finds himself helpless trying to save his father Jesse (Michael Beach) and calls for help. But Aquaman ignores him and walks away leaving the father to die. You are compelled to wonder if what Aquaman did was right. It plays on his mind, on his conscience, till he expresses it to Mera once and she helps him find clarity.

Wasn’t David Kane’s job in itself wrong? He had killed so many people, how does David’s asking for Aquaman’s help overlook his deeds?

With a head full of vengeance, David becomes Black Manta using tech from the sea to take him down. Boy! oh boy! the whole setup is lit. The cinematography of Don Burgess is a delight to the eyes. He uses broad daylight to the maximum to help deliver some incredible visuals. You go jumping on your seat as the camera chases Mera and Arthur and the action in those moments is simply dope. Watch out for those mind-boggling stunts.

Ocean Master – King Orm

Another one of those great creations is that of King Orm played by Patrick Wilson. He brings crude energy to his perversion hurling fierce enmity towards all the land creatures. The music goes Dun-Dun-Dun whenever he enters a frame. So badass!

A war is coming to the surface. And I am bringing the wrath of the Seven Seas with me.

King Orm shows his true strength in a face-off against Aquaman and you realize that he is immensely capable. That he could have almost brought the whole world to his knees if there were no heroes around, is an idea that scares you.

But unlike other villains who are simply wicked without a reason, our King Orm houses one in his cold heart. He hates Arthur Curry’s guts because he holds him responsible for her mother’s death. He believes Atlanna defiled herself to have Arthur so the contempt for Arthur comes naturally to him.

The surface world is beset with plagues. They will destroy themselves.

The Trench

The story of The Trench in Aquaman movie walks in a time when you are thinking that the movie is about to get over any minute now. But no! Enter The Conjuring chills in a deformed form of amphibious beasts who try to attack Arthur and Mera. The music goes eerie and you know that it is a quandary they have found themselves in.

Aquaman movie still of the trench

The story is complemented brilliantly there as they escape into another world where Atlanna is still alive. You can’t help but wonder how beautifully they have connected the dots hiding a story beneath the layers of The Trench.

Then we meet a leviathan named Karathen, probably inspired by the Kraken mythology, who guards the trident Arthur is after. The meeting is like a final quest that tries to test if Arthur is indeed a worthy king to wield the trident of Atlan.

I am no leader. I came because I have no choice. I came to save my home, and the people that I love.

You can order the Aquaman movie from here:

Some Issues

I will state the obvious here that might have forced people to raise their brows. The character creation of Mera had actually begun with this vulnerable girl trying to seek help from Arthur. But then later on when he does show up, suddenly this sad and impuissant girl becomes disgusted of him and then starts joking around and making personal comments. You see some unforeseen humour drop in there and it feels very unrealistic as if a flow was broken. Where did that come from?

It seems as if a major chunk of their conversation had been edited out and the quest to find the Trident of Atlan had been ushered in out of the blue. It seems a tad quickly too as if humour was forced into the equation to take away the continuity of pain.

There is a dispensable chunk of Manta trying to make his suit which pops up right when Arthur and Mera are out there hunting for the trident. I think we could have done without it. It seemed like a useless drag. Some things should be left to the viewer’s imagination. It seems to be put there just to justify the fact that Manta was a badass engineer too that he was busy building his own suit from scratch.

Then there are other cheap shots that prick you like that Pinochhio book. You can’t help but wonder what are the odds of a random girl giving Mera the same book to justify one scene and just one dialogue.

The Final Verdict

Overall if you look back at the Aquaman movie, you can easily see that Black Manta is a clear winner. He is portrayed in a piece that is going to last in your head forever. But there is so much more in the movie, so much substance that gets portrayed in just 2 hours and 23 minutes of its runtime, that it just fills your heart with exhilarating zing.

Is it a good movie? Hell yes! Could it have been made better? By all means, yes. So much poetry in it that gets overlooked since there were so many things to show. I just wish we had more time to depict all of that in proper peace.

Nevertheless, Aquaman movie is an enjoyable hoot that has all kinds of dramatic elements in it and has the potential to be called a huge success.

Aquaman

0.00
7.8

Direction

7.6/10

Plot

8.1/10

Screenplay

7.3/10

Editing

7.5/10

Action

8.4/10

Pros

  • Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry
  • Black Manta Steals the Show
  • Extraordinary Plots and Subplots
  • Amazing Ceaseless Content
  • Mera and Orm

Cons

  • Some Dispensable Bits
  • Minor Issues and Flaws
Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Aquaman
Author Rating
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