Hmm… AQUAMAN, a decent C-rating superhero spectacle full of pizazz and explosions yet lacks a refined story where predictability hovers over it’s spirit like a shadow attached to it’s person. Forgive me, I’m not a fan of the superhero franchise so this will be an abhorring review. My ignorance may even botch my thoughts as I sit here trying to remember what were the redeeming qualities of this movie. It’s a Hollywood blockbuster raking in the millions on entertaining and luring in the masses with it’s CGI splendor and hoards of merchandise and of course Jason Momoa in his tight jeans, tattooed muscles and intoxicatingly beautiful beard hair.
The bread and butter, just like any superhero story being told is the bad guy attempts to rule the world while the good guy feeling unworthy, questions his integrity and in the end manifests himself into this destiny, saving the world. Don’t get me wrong Jason Momoa is a fantastic choice as AQUAMAN but something is inherently missing. Perhaps the alignment of his story? It seemed very fragmented where certain sequences gave us snippets of how he came to be who he is, conflicted and reluctant to take his place as king. Does this sound like a familiar Disney movie? It’s the boy version of the Little Mermaid without the fin and quite possibly looks like he’s wearing a pineapple costume.
I give it to AQUAMAN for being visually enchanting with slick 360-degree fight sequences, and updated musical remixes (Pitbull’s rendition of Toto’s Africa), but it fails dismally with on the nose dialogue and an average plot. This movie is ridiculous with cartoony moments that had me bust out in random laughter and I guess that’s an accomplishment. However, when you suddenly see Willem Dafoe riding a shark with slicked greasy hair or Dolph Lundgren making a suave appearance, its quite a feat to take these characters seriously especially when there’s a quick cut to an octopus playing the drums at one point. I tried hard to submerge myself in this aquatic world and really dig my heels into the fantasy of it all but all that slow motion was overkill and every 20 minutes an explosion would elicit all hell and chaos. Why is this the only way to move a story forward? WHY? I really wanted more depth and so much plot crammed into a two and half hour sitting which is its own kind of special torture is just too much. Now I can finally realize my aversion to the fantasy genre; there’s just too much plot in these films and I’m probably going to be needing therapy to sort out these issues.
If James Wan really wanted to stretch the source material, he could have mischievously gotten artsy with the “pollution of the ocean” message which probably would have turned AQUAMAN into a film about climate change. Hardcore fans would be pissed. Snobby art film fanatics would have praised it for an Oscar nomination. I’m just speculating but, personally it would have piqued my interest. I mean didn’t WONDER WOMAN have a special social impact for females telling their story of struggle destined with the current uprising we challenge today? It’s all about breaking barriers and I feel like with such popularity of the superhero genre there’s an opportunity to subliminally challenge taboo ideas we face today. I guess you just have to get witty with it.
Everyone’s screaming about the atrocities climate change has had on our environment, the extinction of beauties such as the western black rhinos or the dodo bird and every time you see a turtle strangled with plastic around it’s neck you’re silently thinking, ‘that’s a damn shame’ and continue on with your binge watching of the latest Netflix show. We have a long way to go as a species if we want genuine change to happen. We have to move beyond just acknowledging it, we actually have to act on it.
Okay, I may have gone overboard and segwayed entirely off topic. So yeah AQUAMAN, fun movie. Probably more fun for the kids, definitely a top film for the family to be entertained. I can’t fully compare it to anything because I haven’t seen enough superhero movies. Jason Momoa has a handful of great one liners, intertwined with what feels like I’m watching AVATAR at times, and daydreaming of swimming with dolphins. The whole you killed my father, I’m gearing up to avenge his death is cliché but creates some stale conflict. Searching for a magical trident and using negotiation over violence to control the whole seven seas is farfetched but I’ll roll with this fantasy I guess. It’s a spellbinding tale of a royal sea family with dysfunctional problems uniting the surface with the underwater world is something Shakespeare would probably turn into a three act play. If you like any of these this is the film for you. Hooray!