REVIEW: “Aquaman”

Warner Bros. Pictures


Photo created by Genevieve Guenther.

Jonathan Montague, Staff Writer

DC Entertainment does not yet have a favorable track record when it comes to their film adaptations. They managed to win a bit of good will back with 2017’s Wonder Woman but everyone is still questioning whether or not they can make quality movies consistently. Maybe now that fear can be put to rest, thanks to their newest blockbuster to end 2018, Aquaman.

The film opens shortly after the events of Justice League with Arthur Curry saving a submarine crew from some pirates. Later on, Arthur is approached by Mera, an Atlantean princess, who comes to warn him of the war that is on its way from the Seven Seas, led by his half-brother, King Orm. Now, the two must journey across the globe in search of the lost trident of King Atlan in order to challenge Orm for the throne and prevent a war that could destroy both worlds.

This movie is good old-fashioned fun. Taking inspiration from the great adventure films, this film plays fast and loose with its events without going overboard. The film also delivers some great pathos to balance out the comedy, which pokes you in all the right places. They understand the nature of the character they are adapting, and get as goofy as possible, but they make sure to remind you just how powerful Aquaman is as well as intelligent.

And yet, Arthur is the perfectly lovable idiot. What I like best about him is that he knows who he is, but he clearly has potential. That’s why you root for him. He also bounces off Mera very well, who shares his wild side. Orm is the most charismatic villain that we’ve seen since Man of Steel’s General Zod and has enough depth to him to keep you interested, but Black Manta steals the show with every appearance.

Everyone involved is clearly having fun with their roles. Jason Momoa brings all of his charm to the title hero and has great chemistry with Amber Heard. Nicole Kidman makes a memorable appearance as Queen Atlanna, and Patrick Wilson plays a menacing Ocean Master. And last but not least we have Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who I really hope we see again.

As to be expected from a blockbuster, the visual effects of this movie are excellent. More importantly, this movie has the best color palette out of any DC film, taking from what Wonder Woman did and perfecting it. In a similar vein, the costuming in this film is superb, translating every aspect perfectly from page to screen, including Aquaman’s orange-and-green costume. The action is also shot very interestingly, with lots of sweeping movements and few cuts, yet you never lose track of what’s going on. The film’s score is probably the least epic thing about it, but it still delivers some great underlying tracks.

Aquaman, in my opinion, is the best DC film we’ve gotten thus far, even better than Wonder Woman. All three acts remain consistently strong, the actions and characters are fun to watch, and the visuals are breathtaking to look at. I highly recommend this film as I think it will help to give the King of Atlantis the respect he deserves.