Movie Review: Aquaman (2018)

Quote from Aquaman by King Orm: “A war is coming to the surface.  And I am bringing the wrath of the Seven Seas with me.”

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From Losing to Winning

I’m not a DC or Marvel diehard fan, but I understand Aquaman is known to be one of the lesser favorites of the DC characters.  I don’t favor one over the other, but have seen more movies produced by Marvel.  Yet, Aquaman is worthy to watch.  It has done well in the box office and racked in about 728.7 million dollars so far.  Let’s explore the underwater world of Atlantis and those who inhabit it.

Those are Some Pretty Big Waves

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Aquaman is a character created by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris.  This story is by Geoff Johns, James Wan, and Will Beall. The screenplay is written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, and directed by James Wan.  The story centers around the friction among different kingdoms and their rulers including the control of the waters between two half brothers, Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and King Orm (Patrick Wilson).  In addition to being an action and fantasy, this movie has snippets of a coming of age story from boy to teenager to man where Arthur is tested again and again.  Other major cast includes Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, Amber Heard as Mera, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane/Black Manta, Michael Beach as Jesse, Graham McTavish as King Atlan, Temeura Morrison as Tom Curry, Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, and Julie Andrews as Karathen.  It is a Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Films production.  It had the release date of December 21, 2018 (USA). The MPAA rating is PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action and some language.  It has a running time of 2 hours and 23 minutes.

Family, Fish, Fire, and Fury

 Aquaman begins with the union of a lighthouse keeper named Tom Curry and a queen from Atlantis named Atlanna. They have a child named Arthur and as he grows from being three to nine to thirteen to sixteen, he realizes he doesn’t have a normal life nor will live one.  After rescuing Russian Naval crew members, Arthur is called back to Atlantis by a red-haired woman named Mera (Amber Heard) after some convincing.  He gets a quick crash course in Atlantis protocol and history as he returns to the place he vowed never to go again.  We get further insight into Arthur’s powers under the tutelage of Nuidis Vulko (Willem Dafoe) in flashbacks and the current hatred Orm Marius has for his half-brother.  Everything hints to Orm successfully becoming the Ocean Master despite Arthur battling him in a duel.  Arthur is not deterred and along with Mera continue on their quest to stop Orm.  They hide from Atlantean soldiers, walk many miles in the Sahara desert, and battle their way through The Trench.  It ends with a spectacular fight and don’t blink too long because the underwater creatures swim fast and their jaws are even stronger.  There’s a little bit of everything in this especially those interested in kings and queens, overlapping conflicts, enemies and friends, fighting and wars, and personal redemption.

So Who is Going to Win?

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There are two minor flaws I saw in Aquaman.  While I thought the end battle was great in terms of seeing the different kingdoms jockeying for power and the special effects of the underwater scenes, it was drawn out a little too long for me.  I was fully immersed in the movie, but a person tends to get a little antsy near the end.  I think it would have just as well been near perfect with a few less explosions.  Being this is an action movie first and foremost, the story isn’t going to go as much in-depth as a period piece drama or realistic war movie.  This isn’t to say it didn’t have a good story because it did.  The conflict between the Arthur and King Orm was great as well as his other relationships.  This is why I would have liked to have seen a little less comedic lines from Aquaman.  It seemed all the other characters were so serious in their personal journeys, but maybe this was done intentionally to let Momoa shine.  He is known to be a prankster on set so the silly moments sort of make sense.  I guess it’s just a preference of mine.

The Water Keeps Churning

When the credits started and the major cast members were listed, it cut back to one of the major characters.  This pointed with a big arrow toward an Aquaman sequel and one of the cast members having a bigger role.  Apart from the above minor flaws, they weren’t that much of a deterrent because I’d see the sequel as well.

Pisaries Creator’s Rating

I give Aquaman Four Fingers and One Thumb at 93%.

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