Aquaman (2018)

Director: James Wan
Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall, Geoff Johns, James Wan
Based on: Paul Norris and Mort Weisingercomics
Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Ludi Lin, Michael Beach, Randall Park, Graham McTavish, Leigh Whannell
Part of: DC movies
Seen on: 21.12.2018

Arthur (Jason Momoa) grew up with his lighthouse keeper father Thomas (Temuera Morrison), his mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) having left the family to return to Atlantis where she is queen. Now Arthur, also known as Aquaman, leads a rather aimless existence, though he does take care of the Ocean. That’s when is Atlantean roots come to haunt him in the form of Princess Mera (Amber Heard) who urges him to get into politics, as war is brewing between Atlantis and land-dwelling humanity. She believes that only Arthur can stop it by reuniting both races.

As with most DC movies, I was hesitant about it at first, but given that the early reactions about the film were pretty good and the trailer (as well as Momoa) looked good, I did allow myself to have some expectations about the film. I’m happy to say that the film absolutely fulfilled them, if not to say surpassed them. It’s very fine entertainment.

The film poster showing Arthur/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) with his trident, and Mera (Amber Heard).

I’m very glad that the film was directed by a POC. Not only because more POC need to get the chance to direct (big) films, but because the film very obviously uses Atlantis and everything as a metaphor for race. And it’s not exactly sublte as is, but I shudder to think how heavy-handed it would have become in the hands of white people (or even more white people).

In any case, Aquaman was fun. Starting with the first great fight scene with Nicole Kidman (let her fight more often!), but it also has a nice sense of humor and it finally gives Jason Momoa a chance to do more than just look angry and brown. Let him be funny and light more often! He is great at it (the rose scene was just pure joy).

Arthur (Jason Momoa) bare-chested during a fight.

The film was a CGI fest and I do feel that this can be rather boring, especially when it comes to big battle scenes. They often are rather uninteresting and seem almost made to highlight the flaws in the animation. But they do manage to keep it balanced and connected to the non-CGI world enough to not annoy me.

There was just one thing I really struggled with – and that was the fact to accept that Patrick Wilson is supposed to Jason Momoa’s younger (half-)brother. The math just doesn’t work out here. I’m sure you could find more inconsistencies and plot holes in the film and at times it is very silly (the single drop of sweat), but I was too busy being entertained to mind any of it.

Arthur/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard).

Summarizing: Fun indeed.

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