Thursday, December 27, 2018
AquaMan Movie Review
I am late with this review as I was one of the lucky people who was able to see this movie before it premiered in movie theaters. The screening was set up for comic book fans, writers, and bloggers in South Florida and was a small group of about 50 people.
Going in, and I was a late addition to this group, I was not all that excited. The trailers for Aquaman looked good, but DCEU had burned up all its good will and credit with me after Justice League. Yes, Wonder Woman was fun and a great surprise, but all other DCEU movies from Man of Steel through Justice League had burnt me out on the Zack Snyder take of these characters.
Aquaman or Aqaubro as he is known here @brothascomics, was at least a break from SnyderVerse and a chance to break free of the uneven portrayal in Justice League. James Wan is a quality director and the potential of focusing on a non, Trinity character appealed to me( even tho its Aqaubro).
And the movie, at first starts out doing a great job of building a universe and reintroducing the character without doing a full on origin story. The forbidden love between Arthur's dad and Queen Atlanna , played by Nicole Kidman, give us a great opening action scene and the basis for the plot of the movie. When we finally do meet Arthur Curry, he is well aware of his complicated history regarding his birth and the people of Atlantis and he has settled into a life of using his powers when he can to help people. This is when we get first introduced to the character who will become Black Mantis. His origin story and motivation are strong and coulda carried the whole movie in my opinion.
Of course, there is conflict with who is the rightful heir to Atlantis and tension as to whom should sit on the throne and our plot leads us to a pivotal scene in Atlantis and a battle between the Ocean Master and AquaBro. I will be honest, the first 40 minutes or so of this movie had me way more hyped than I anticipated and the fans I was watching with were hype, too. The movie is beautiful, by the way. It reminds me a lot of Avatar in how its shot and to how it shows the majesty of Atlantis. Honestly, I wish they woulda stayed there longer because....
Then, we leave the ocean and head to dry land as Mera has joined Aquabro in search of a McGuffin( a Trident to rule them all). There is this break to try and add romance and comedy with Arthur and Mera and that culminates with a fight/chase scene in a desert town that you have seen in its entirety in the trailer. The battle between Aquabro and Mantis becomes anticlimactic and the movie meanders for about 45 minutes in the search for the Trident. Definitely killed the momentum from the early portion of the movie and you could feel the uneasiness in the screening. I will say this... Mera is bad ass in this. Her power set and her ability to kick ass rival Aquabro and that is a refreshing change from how women are often portrayed in movies with male protagonist.
Thankfully, we get back underwater for the climax of the film. It was a little clunky for me with a secret reveal, the classic outfit, and the final boss battle all rushed into about 30 minutes( plus a dragon just appeared from nowhere).
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I wish the middle was as good as the beginning and the end. I think this was probably the best Aquaman movie they could've made given the circumstances. From looking at the early fan reviews, it seems most people enjoyed it. I think its getting a little overhyped because its better than MOS, Batman v Superman, Justice League, and Suicide Squad( that's a lot of bad movies)! As a stand alone movie, tho, it works on its own and it will be interesting to see if DCEU even attempts to build off of this into anything other than Aquaman 2. Stay for the post credit scenes and if you are a fan of the New 52 Aquaman, its a fun geek out moment.
Again, good fun! If I was giving out stars, I'd give it 2.5 out of 4 stars. Bring on Shazam!