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'Aquaman' Review

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Aquaman is a 2018 superhero film based on the DC Comics character Aquaman, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the sixth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Directed by James Wan, with a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, from a story by Geoff Johns, Wan and Beall, it stars Jason Momoa as the title character, with Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Nicole Kidman in supporting roles. It is the third live-action theatrical film featuring Aquaman, following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), and the first full-length feature film centered around the character.

Once home to the most advanced civilization on Earth, the city of Atlantis is now an underwater kingdom ruled by the power hungry King Orm. With a vast army at his disposal, Orm plans to conquer the remaining oceanic people and then the surface world. Standing in his way is Aquaman, Orm's half-human, half-Atlantean brother and true heir to the throne. With help from royal counselor Vulko, Aquaman must retrieve the legendary Trident of Atlan and embrace his destiny as protector of the deep.

Is Aquaman a good DCEU film? First off I want to say I really enjoyed it. It wasn't perfect, but man did I enjoy it. It was just as stupid as I expected, but it somehow found a way to be 10 times better. Aquaman was a fun film.

One of my biggest worries for this film was the director James Wan. Don't get me wrong I love James Wan, but I've always thought of him as a master of horror. He did do Furious Seven, but this film is a heavy CGI action film and I just didn't think he was right for it. With that being said he absolutely nailed it. The action scenes were great and filmed in a way that you could understand what was going on (no shakey cam). Overall I think the film jumped to that next level because of the directing.

The acting was solid. The CGI and cinematography was beautiful. Atlantis was beautiful to look at. With a film that is probably 80% CGI you'd expect it to not be great or look like it's been filmed in front of a green screen, and while it does get a little choppy at times as a whole it really hold it's own.

Most of the problems I had with the film came from the story and a little from the characters, but as a whole Aquaman was a fun film that exceeded all my expections.

Jason Momoa is Aquaman. I thought he was perfectly cast. Jason Momoa did a fantastic job. I really liked how he was able to go from a funny friendly giant to an intimidating and intense warrior in the blink of an eye. Perfectly cast and great acting from Jason Momoa.

I also really enjoyed Amber Heard. This is the first film (that I can remember) that I've seen her play a big role. The only other film (that I can remember) I've seen her in was Zombieland. With that being said I thought she did a great job, and have her character a lot more depth and life rather than just being the love interest.

Willem Dafoe is always great. In some of his flashback younger scenes he did look a little strange, but that's really my only complaint.

Patrick Wilson also did a great job, and he have life to a character that I had problems with.

All in all the acting was solid.

I have mixed feelings about the overall plot and story. I really enjoyed the beginning and the end, but the middle had it's problems. I thought the momentum that was built up in the first act really gets lost. The film was almost 2 and a half hours long, so the middle really starts to drag. Even with that I thought Aquaman and Mera did a well enough job with the comedy that it's not as bad it's it could've been.

You could've called that second act Indiana Jones and the City of Atlantis. Another problem I had was that it never really felt like a superhero film. In the sense that most of it was underwater or away from civilization, and it's a very contained story. This wasn't that big of a problem, but the stakes never felt that high.

In terms of plot I thought the first act really laid the foundation and set up the rest of film up nicely. The final act was a Lord of The Rings scale epic undersea battle that I really enjoyed. That middle just really lost me at times. It's not bad, but compared to the rest of the film it's definitely one of the low points.

I also wish they would have put more time into building Aquaman and Mera's relationship. Maybe developed Aquaman as a character a little more, and fleshed out Patrick Wilson's character, but when it's all said and done the plot really holds it's own.

Overall I was very pleased with Aquaman. It's by no means the best film, but it's a fun one that never really takes itself too serious (no disrespect to Mr. Snyder), but it still manages to tell a story with listening too.

Excellent CGI and some beautiful cinematography along with great acting and fantastic directing takes Aquaman from being just another film in a cluttered genre and really making it stand out.

This film was far from perfect, but I really enjoyed it despite it's flaws. Aquaman was a solid film and it really gives me some hope for the DCEU.

© 2019 Royce Proctor