TwittReview: Aquaman delivers a big bucket of FUN! Director James Wan brings us a movie that shows there is light in this tunnel for DC Comics and movie adaptions. The second act, from start to finish, is one of the most fun sequences I’ve seen in a movie in a very long time! Grade: 5 out of 5!!
What’s Aquaman about – short version?
Spinning out of his appearance in 2017’s Justice League, Aquaman stars in his first solo movie and is the latest entry into the DC movie universe. Aquaman follows Arthur Curry as he battles to save the surface world from a war with the kingdom of Atlantis.
Who stars in Aquaman?
- Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman
- Amber Heard as Mera
- Willem Dafoe as Vulko
- Patrick Wilson as Orm / Ocean Master
- Dolph Lundgren as Nereus
- Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane / Black Manta
- Nicole Kidman as Atlanna
The good, the bad, and the Geek-for-E?
- Origin story. I know that there is a subset of fans out there that thinks we don’t need to tell the origin of our hero and just wants to see them in-suit as the character doing things that they do. Outside of Spider-Man, Superman, and even Batman who have well known if not mythical origins…the rest of the characters need to have their story told. Aquaman starts off setting the stage of how Arthur came to be when the lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison) rescues Atlanna (Kidman) when she washes ashore. After living with Thomas and having a child together, Atlanna is attacked by Atlantis guardsman as they finally tracked her down to fulfill her arranged marriage to King Atlan (Graham McTavish). Years later after Orm has become King, he wants to unite the Kingdoms of Atlantis into one major force so he can be the Ocean Master allowing him to command the sea and attack the surface world for their years of pollution and under-sea mining. Through various flashback sequences, we learn that Arthur has been trained by Vulko (Defao) in order to defend himself if he were to be attacked. This training has led Arthur to be the “Aquaman” and help defend the surface world as well as the ocean.
- No cameos from ANYONE from any of the previous movies. This is Aquaman’s movie and it’s time for him to shine. We don’t need Superman, Batman, or even a Bruce Wayne mention to solidify his character…especially since we had already seen Aquaman twice before. The only mention of anything prior is a throwaway line from Mera regarding Arthur stopping Steppenwolf in 2017’s Justice League.
- Black Manta!! Talk about a character that got a solid story arc and has a motive for doing what he does. David Kane is a high-tech pirate that with his father and a group of mercenaries, attack all types of ship to plunder, steal, and murder. During a confrontation with Aquaman onboard a Russian Submarine, Arthur traps daddy Kane under a bulkhead. With the choice of saving him, Arthur leaves the ship with the Russian sailors, leaving daddy Kane to blow himself up as to drowning onboard the sinking submarine.
- We have to wait a few years for the sequel. Bring on the Aquaman 2 talks!
- James Wan really understands Aquaman and it shows. The use of the classic orange and green costume gives us a solid and practical costume that just works. It doesn’t look odd or out of place. The same for the use of Aquaman’s ability to talk to sea creatures. When we are first introduced to it, Arthur is on a field trip to the aquarium and the fish come to his aid when he is being bullied. Later when used it feels natural and not forced.
- Black Manta and his comic accurate costume. It just works, even the oversized helmet makes sense and is again, practical, for how it comes about and the use.
- If you’ve read Geoff John’s run of the Justice League comic book entitled Throne of Atlantis (or viewed the animated movie of the same name) you will recognize some plot beats that were lifted directly from those sources.
- James Wan paced the movie out into the standard three-acts and everything fell into place. Act 1 was the setup and build leading to Act 3 that was the culmination into the final confrontation. But that Act 2 to me was some of the best storytelling and executed sequences that I’ve seen in a superhero movie in a long time. This entire act is so much fun that I had a large smile on my face the entire time. This is the act that we’ve seen in the early trailer sneaks where Arthur and Mera are being chased by Black Manta and the Atlantian Shock Troopers. From the start of the scene with Arthur and Mera walking out of the Mediterranean Sea all the way through them making their way into Act 3 (no spoilers), this scene played like a real-life “Nathan Drake” (Google that one…great game series by the way).