Aquaman is a stunning spectacle (movie review)

Aquaman Poster Thumb Mera

The world got to see Aquaman on the big screen when he was featured in the Justice League movie, and he was definitely a highlight. Soon audiences will get him all to themselves when he appears in his own movie this month. The Aquaman film is set after the events of Justice League, and audiences will get to see his origin and his destiny to become a hero.

Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is half human and half Atlantean, and because of this, he is a target and an outcast. His half-brother Orm from Atlantis plans on taking over the land, and it’s up to Arthur and Mera (Amber Heard) to put a stop to it. The hero will have to travel far and wide to find an important artifact, and in return, learn what it is to become a true hero. Yes, that does kind of sound like a fairy tale, but director James Wan has embraced that aspect.

And speaking of fairy tales, the prologue feels very much like one. We get to meet Aquaman’s parents with Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), an Atlantean, meeting Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison), a lighthouse keeper. They both fall in love with each other, and their moments together are sweet and amusing. To amplify the setting, Sigur Rós’ “Sæglópur” is playing in the background.

Aquaman is a DC superhero that has been the butt of many jokes in the past. With Momoa portraying him, all jokes quickly dissipate. Even without his superpowers, you wouldn’t want to pick a fight with him. Yes, he can be intimidating, but you can definitely see that Momoa is having fun playing this character.

Heard does an okay job portraying Mera, and the wardrobe department must be commended for capturing her look from the comics.

Wilson as Orm is a bit one dimensional as the ruler of Atlantis. We know the actor can be charming, but I would have preferred if there was a bit more to his character since he gets outshined by another villain by the name of Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).

Manta is out to get Aquaman, and he has his own arc where you will kind of feel sorry for him.

I was surprised about how much I adored Morrison as Tom and Kidman as Atlanna. I would have been happy just watching a romantic movie about an Atlantean and a light keeper.

With Aquaman being the main character, one would think that the sea would be the main focus. The film reminds us of the Indiana Jones films where Indy would travel all around the world to look for treasure. In Aquaman, Arthur and Mera will travel all around the world to look for aid in stopping Orm. There will be adventures in America, Europe, Africa, and the ocean. There are still plenty of underwater adventures, and these worlds are breathtaking. The epic underwater battle in the third act is like nothing we’ve seen before.

The film does have pacing issues in the form of flashbacks. To understand more of Arthur’s history, we are shown scenes of young Arthur training with Vulko, played by Willem Dafoe. There’s already a nice flow with Aquaman’s current adventures, and it comes to a halt due to the flashbacks. It may have worked better if these weren’t sprinkled throughout the film and instead were placed mainly in the first act.

Despite certain flashbacks feeling out of place, there’s still a lot to appreciate. Aquaman is a stunning spectacle and Jason Momoa is a blast to watch from beginning to end. The month of December is a packed one, and you can’t go wrong with this underwater adventure.

Score: 4/5 Atoms

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