Aquaman Film Review: A Excellent Journey In The Seven Seas

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
December 9th, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: Aquaman

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On December 9, 2018
Last modified:December 13, 2018

Summary:

Aquaman is the best movie in DC’s Extended Universe which doesn’t take itself to seriously instead brings a sense of adventure into the franchise, something which has been missed for the longest time.

Review of: Aquaman

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On December 9, 2018
Last modified:December 13, 2018

Summary:

Aquaman is the best movie in DC’s Extended Universe which doesn’t take itself to seriously instead brings a sense of adventure into the franchise, something which has been missed for the longest time.

Can the king of seven seas revive DC’s Extended Universe? Aquaman answers those questions but does it work from a film standpoint? ComiConverse reviews Aquaman.

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Arthur Curry, the reluctant ruler and King of the Seven Seas, finds himself caught between a surface world constantly ravaging the sea and Atlanteans looking to lash out in revolt, but committed to protecting the entire globe

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Picture’s DC Extended Universe hasn’t had the best track record as both Justice League (2017) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) with Zack Snyder’s (Man of Steel) stylised take on these iconic characters failing to connect with audiences. Relying heavy on dark stories, tonally inconsistent world building that felt at odds with the comic book print. feeling like a pointless universe built for executives instead of fans. I have a strange relationship with these DC Extended Universe titles, with many disappointing me and few breaking new grounds with Wonder Woman (2017) being amongst some of the best comic book films. 

Despite the DC Extended Universe not winning critical acclaim, Warner Bros. Pictures has earned an insane $3.794 billion at the global worldwide box office, as audiences connected to adventures with renown and iconic DC superheroes. Making it among some of the most lucrative film series in Hollywood, with each instalment making a modest global impact on the box office. But… these DC event movies aren’t always successful with Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2017) bombing with a laughable $657.9 million at the global box office, on staggering $300 million budget - thus falling short of Warner Bros. Pictures sales expectations. 

But, after such a terrible loss at the box office Warner Bros. Pictures announced plans to focus on solo films instead of expensive team based adventures. And the beloved water based DC superhero Aquaman (who appeared in Justice League) is first in line for a live-action treatment, which is meant to kickstart another salivating box office success for the Warner Bros. Pictures company. Focusing on Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) a reluctant leader of the Seven Seas, who finds himself caught in-between a potential war against the ocean and surface world. After the laughable failure that was Justice League (2017), can the master of oceans deliver the goods? And bring DC’s Extended Universe into a fresh era? All these questions are answered in our ComiConverse review of Aquaman (2018). 

In traditional superhero movie tradition DC’s Aquaman (2018) is an big budget origin adventure, focused on young Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) reluctant leader of the Secret Atlantis City as he seeks that sea-life and surface dwellers can coexist without pointless violence on ocean waters. But….. obviously things do not go to plan with Arthur’s half-brother Ocean Master / Orm (Patrick Wilson), that seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms to declare ware on the surface world due to their greed and pollution of the seas.  Director, James Wan (Furious 7) creates a unique superhero origin film, which pays homage to classic adventure titles like Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) while bringing his own twists on the beloved genre. It’s focus on insane mayhem and character drama, makes Aquaman (2018) among some of the greatest DC movies. Arthur Curry’s (Jason Momoa) §journey alone is worth the price of admission, with his charming persona working wonders on the big screen. 

Aquaman (2018) is an outstanding piece of superhero cinema which focuses on character-driven storytelling and Lord of the Rings' esque battles that look incredible in IMAX cinemas. Its basic plot harkens back to excellent adventure films of yesteryear while paying homage to the characters rich history of storylines. Writers, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (The Conjuring) and Will Beall (Gangster Squad) excel in bringing a sense of adventure into the DC Extended Universe, which has been missed in previous outings. It develops each Aquaman character with respect, planting seeds for future adventures in the seven kingdoms of our oceans.

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Warner Bros. Pictures

Upcoming Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa (Justice League) plays the movies lead Arthur Curry aka The Aquaman, a young man trying to find his place the world while striving understand what it is to be the future Underwater King of Atlantis. Momoa shines in the role as he brings a signature dose of charm into Aquaman, creating his unique take of the underrated silver age DC character. There are problems however as Momoa cannot sell the idea of a romantic connection with co-star Amber Heard (London Fields), as the pair often come across wooden and forced on multiple occasion. Director, James Wan also makes sure that Arthur Curry is relatable to audiences, with his troubled childhood and love for Atlantis beautifully unfolding in the two-hour runtime. However despite these problems, I loved Jason Momoa (Justice League) in the role, as there’s tons of potential for Aquaman to grow into a mega-franchise for Warner Bros. Pictures. Momoa is one of the most outstanding cast members in Aquaman (2018). 

Actress turned superhero Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) plays the movies female lead and romantic interest, Mera a telepathic Atlantean who served as the main aid for prior Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman). Trying her best to push Aquaman (Jason Momoa) in the right direction as King, while protecting earth from a doomsday that is fast approaching. Heard (Justice League) is excellent in the role as Mera, delivering a substantial amount of mystery which elevates the character on so many levels. James Wan (Furious 7) chooses to hide Mera’s backstory which adds to the idea of DC Extended Universe characters being demi-gods amongst humans. There are problems with her onscreen romance with Jason Momoa (Justice League), that come across forced and overall rushed in the end. But, I’d love for Amber Heard (Justice League) to return in future instalments as so much potential is there for Mera, and perhaps even leading into a spin-off franchise within the DC Extended Universe. 

Former Marvel actor Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man jumps head first into Warner Bros. Picture’s DC Extended Universe as Nuidis Vulko, Aquaman’s (Jason Momoa) mentor figure who has supported the Atlantis family line for generations. Nudis (Willem Dafoe) is wise giving the young Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), guidance in becoming a robust Atlantean warrior and teaching him the meaning of what being king means. Dafoe (Spider-Man) delivers another great performance with his emotional connection to Aquaman’s (Jason Momoa) journey, working wonders on the big screen - reminding me very much of Sean Connery in iconic adventure film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). James Wan (Furious 7) makes sure to direct each flashback between Nudis and Arthur with so much class, as they feel like the main highlights of Aquaman (2018). Acclaimed actor Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) needs to be commended for such a helpful role in Aquaman (2018), which hopefully will grow more as the DC Extended Universe goes on. 

Warner Bros. Pictures

Arthur Curry’s half-brother Orm / Ocean Master is played by the outstanding Patrick Wilson (Phantom of the Opera), he is one of the film’s antagonists who seeks to unite seven underwater kingdoms to battle against our surface that has polluted the seas with waste. Wilson (Phantom of the Opera) is threatening in the role of Ocean Master, with his theatrical performance working wonders in parallel with laid-back Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa). The brotherly rivalry works wonders on screen, as the pair have a fixed amount of chemistry - almost feeling like Marvel’s loveable Loki (Tom Hiddleston). James Wan (Furious 7) pulls from silver age DC villains with Orm, with his evil schemes making sense to audiences - without the two-hour runtime feeling bloated in the process. Patrick Wilson is without question one of the best villains in DC’s Extended Universe, and I am hoping to see him again in future Aquaman stories. 

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Greatest Showman) plays the film’s second villain David Kane / Black Manta, a ruthless treasure hunter and high seas mercenary who uses deadly technological enchantments to take jewels from deep under the sea. He has a severe distaste for Atlantean’s due to his father being killed by Aquaman (Jason Momoa); I adored David Kane and his deep emotional storyline which leads him on path destruction. Mateen is one of the most excellent performances in Aquaman (2018), despite not having much on screen time. There is something beautiful about his portrayal of a man looking for revenge. James Wan (Furious 7) makes sure to plant seeds for future storylines with the Black Manta, which needs to be explored due to the immense potential which can be reached. Yahya (The Greatest Showman) is a marvel in the final half of Aquaman (2018), which alone is worth the price of admission.

Verdict

Aquaman (2018) is the best movie in DC’s Extended Universe which doesn’t take itself to seriously instead brings a sense of adventure into the franchise, something which has been missed for the longest time. It pays respect to the silver age DC icon while changing aspects of his origin and reinvents Aquaman for modern-day audiences. Gone are the days of Aquaman being centre to internet jokes, because James Wan (Furious 7) delivers a badass holiday action picture which plants the character in Hollywood big leagues. 

DC's Extended Universe has finally gotten back on the right track, Aquaman (2018) is without question of the best films in 2018. Atlantis has never been so beautifully created on film and blows away everything which has come before it. IMAX is the way to go! James Wan has another hit on their hands.

What did you think about the movie? Plan on checking it out next week? Let us know below.

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Aquaman
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Aquaman is the best movie in DC’s Extended Universe which doesn’t take itself to seriously instead brings a sense of adventure into the franchise, something which has been missed for the longest time.

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One Comment

  1. Hector says:

    Nice review, but if you might stop putting quoted credits after every mention of a character or actor. Once is enough, we’re not idiots.

    A little spell check might work too

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