DIRECTOR: james wan (furious 7, the conjuring 2)
STARRING: jason momoa, amber heard, patrick wilson, and willem dafoe
REVIEWER: hadassah devis
Aquaman finds himself caught between a surface world that ravages the sea and the underwater Atlanteans who are ready to revolt.
When the people of the sea rise up against those that live on land, half-human-half-Atlantean, Arthur AKA Aquaman, is forced into a battle between his ‘home world’ with the humans or his ‘subjects’ from the deep.
If you love a fast paced, 99% fight scene, action movies, then Aquaman is what you have been waiting for. Managing to stay away from the ‘origins’ style movies that often come with first instalment spinoffs (you know, where the hero has to find ‘who they are’, or be beaten down only to rise up and overcome their adversary…blah blah blah) Aquaman gives us a fully formed, water breathing, punch-happy, behemoth of a man, who knows his heritage - both human and Atlantean - and has accepted it. So when the time comes to pick a side in the eminent war, he’s not dramatically torn or confused about what he should do. He’s ready to f*** s*** up.
I think that’s a part of what sets Aquaman apart from other superhero movies of recent years. It’s pretty much non-stop action, with a plethora of fight scenes, a couple of bad guys, a couple of love stories, a tonne of amazingly designed locations, and yet, thanks to the simplicity of the plot, and clear-cut characters, the film somehow remains clear and uncrowded… without being shallow and underdeveloped.
That no-unnecessary-nonsense attitude carries through into other aspects of the film, particularly with character interaction, and weirdly, the music. There are some majorly cringe worthy moments in the film but, somehow, the actors and/or writers make it almost like they are taking the piss out of the movie (in a good way!). For example, in the opening fight scene the camera cuts to a close up of Jason Momoa smirking into the camera after knocking a bad guy out and really cheesy ‘epic’ music plays in the background. And it happens multiple times in the one scene. There was even a literal ‘dun, dun, duuuun’ at one point.
And if amusement is not your thing, then Aquaman is still worth a watch just to look at the b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l world they have created. If you liked the world in Avatar, then you’ll like what the Aquaman team has created.
There are a few lapses in the CGI, but when it comes to the distinct (each incredible) looks between various underwater worlds and their inhabitants, creepy creatures, and epic sea monsters - not to mention all the ‘regular’ whales, fish, coral underwater landscaping - the design team have really outdone themselves.
The same goes for the fight/battle scenes. The one-on-one combat scenes have a very video-game vibe, and the battles are way over the top (again, in a good way), but thanks to the great visuals and design, they don’t blend together and feel like one drawn out fight. Like the scenery, they have their own distinct style and mood. I am seriously going back to watch it in 3D (and I am not a 3D movie fan) because it was that good looking.
Epic, fun, and punchy. Am I talking about Aquaman, or am I talking about Jason Momoa? They are one in the same, so it doesn't really matter.