An Arguing With Myself Review: Aquaman

January 16, 2019 Author: Chris Frodel

Arthur Curry (Jason Mamoa) learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. His mother (Nicole Kidman) is an Atlantean Queen and his father (Temuera Morrison), a mortal man. Hesitant on wearing the crown, his journey of self discovery will show Atlantis he can be the leader they need or die trying. 

My opinion of DC’s adaptions of their comics is well documented. I won’t retread my statements, here. I don’t care what genre it is, I wish for them all to succeed. Their successes are the viewer’s benefit. We all win. Unfortunately for DC, there have been more misses than hits. At least for this viewer.

I’m not blind to the fact that Warner Brothers and DC needed to update the character of Aquaman. Mostly seen as a joke or a useless hero, especially when trouble drifted away from the ocean. There had to be a way of showing he isn’t a one-trick pony. In that respect, they accomplished that feat with ease. Jason Mamoa is charming enough. He definitely has a likability to carry the film’s almost two and a half hour runtime.

Most of my issues with Aquaman would be perceived as “nitpicks” but when you have more than a couple, it’s hard to ignore. Foot soldiers’ becoming literal fish out of water when their suits are tampered with? It’s a fine idea by itself. Meanwhile, everyone else seems to be able to go in and out of water sans any apparatuses (what’s the plural of apparatus?…apparati?). I guess when you’re considered royalty, you can do anything. Where does this story take place in the rest of the DCEU? Steppenwolf was mentioned by Mera (Amber Heard) but Arthur didn’t seem to recognize her OR the battle in Dawn of Justice. Speaking of battles, the final fight made the same mistake as the films that preceded it. Too much is happening visually to keep up with. Apparently, all the oceanic creatures were fighting on screen at the same time.

Not to be entirely sour on this review. The underwater look of each character was amazing. It’s like they were submerged and all the bubbles that would surround them were deleted. I’m glad that they kept certain comic book/cartoon nods. Like his communication waves and when he finally dons the green/orange suit. Yes, he gets the suit. Can’t really spoil what the commercials and promotional stills already showed you. There were little to no surprises with this film. It was predictable from beginning to end.

Aquaman didn’t impress me enough to join the many people that loved it. It was adequate at best. Watchable. If I was to rank Aquaman among the rest of DC’s catalog, it would sit below Wonder Woman, with considerable distance. I wanted to bombard this review with as many watery puns as possible but I took the straightforward approach. You want puns? There’s plenty of trolling when you surf the web, chum. Go do that.

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