The Aquaman Movie was good but not great

Spent some lovely time at the cinema this weekend. Armed with popcorn and a massive coke and having gone to the loo prior to entering the 2h and 20min movie, I was settled to see an action-packed adventure movie. And I was not disappointed! Tidal waves, underwater cities, plots to take over the throne by a brother, unworthy kings finds himself worthy due to power of humility, a massive kraken! I loved these parts of the movie!

What I didn’t like and I thought was a bit much was overkill by CGI! So much of it! And they’ve copy-pasted sharks and sea horses like there was no tomorrow! And how in hell did people talk and sharks and creatures ROAR without any air? and one thing that made me go WTF was the wedge heels that Aquaman’s co-star was wearing throughout. Why did she need them? Surely she can’t be bothered about height underwater when she can just float to where she needs to be at! And they’re not fit for swimming either!

On the bright side, her costume was absolutely spot on! Enough green to go around and some cleavage to make the fans happy!

Every other character is authentic aesthetically, and personality-wise. Black Manta really is Black Manta(they even explain, why his helmet is so damn Big, Oceanmaster has his iconic Helmet

The Story

First of all, the story of Aquaman is classic enough (that is, the old-fashioned set of some people), which is the journey of superhero treasure hunt. In an interview with James wan in “WorldScreen” magazine, James said that this is a very classic narrative technique. The growth of Arthur is like the growth of heroes in Spielberg, Cameron and Lucas movies. When Wan was a child, he watched the works of these masters grow up and always wanted to make such a movie, so this retro style is intentional. The facts also prove that the classic story will not be outdated. However, we can also understand from another angle that Wan did not try to try the dark and deep story style, but from the direction of being good at commercial blockbusters. In short, even if you don’t have interest in the retro story, the level of the plot is definitely qualified in the super-Hero movie.

Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

There are moments which can be a bit cheesy or over the top but it is satisfying to follow Aquaman through his journey though the sea. His relationships add a layer of richness which somewhat invests you in his motivations and endeavors.

The atmosphere of this film looks magnificent vibrant and has high-quality than any DCEU film. Finally we can see the light after those dark days. It has clear motivations for both heroes and villains, pretty solid. It took me ages to recognize the bad guy blonde prince, Arthur’s brother as Patrick Wilson who played in The Conjuring as Ed Warren and in Insidious as Josh Lambert. When it hit me I was like WOOOOW, blonde hair does suit him!

And just after it clicked, Aquaman goes with Mera to her ship in the junkyard of Atlantis and when they fly out (or swim out?) with the aqua car I noticed something odd in the left bottom corner of the screen! The haunted Anabelle doll was there added as an Easter Egg by James Wan

Good Bits:

  • For a DC movie, it was really well lit and you could actually see the characters. #noFilter
  • Mera was well suited and her acting was quite good! Loved her and can’t wait to see more of her
  • Jason Momoa was pretty credible as Aquaman and his body is something to look at 🙂
  • Atlantis rendering was amazing! And some of the underwater CGI was pretty stunning
  • The hero’s journey was well defined and the quest at the end about the worthiness of being king was well thought and the kids in the cinema loved it!
  • William Defoe was for once cast in a decent good guy role
  • Nicole Kidman’s animated fight scene at the start of the movie was amazing. It gave me goosebumps – the motions, the film-technique and the camera movement A++++
  • The Kraken was well animated and HUGE!

Bad Bits:

  • Loads of slow-mo shots designed mid-fight to show you the awesomeness of the characters. It gets old quickly
  • Loads of looking over the shoulder shots with a pan in (from both good guys and bad)
  • Dialogue was pretty bad
  • Some of it was cringy and cliché e.g. a perfect example is the kissing scene. We all knew they would get together in the end, and when they finally did, it was just an awkward scene and there was no chemistry (I’m not sure if this was due to the acting / script / directing)
  • they attempt to cram far too much backstory into the already excessive running time, are far to reliant on CGI (Tom’s hair!) and the wild camera swings and zooms make it incredibly difficult to tell who is winning the current fight scene, especially in the ring of fire
  • No idea how gravity works 🙂
  • Mera’s useless heels
  • The Kraken looked like a mix from a Final Fantasy boss and one of the Pacific Rim monsters (Kaijus)
  • Bringing the Kraken into the battle of the deep was a bad idea as it resulted in causalities between all aqua-men not just good ones but bad ones too. What a way to ascend to the throne: violence and bloodshed.

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