James Wan’s Aquaman dives deep into the heart of Atlantis to prove that its titular character isn’t the laughing stock of the DC Comics anymore.
Embracing the cheesiness of its premise, Aquaman turns into a fascinating and outrageous film to watch. With a lot of storylines shoved into the film, Aquaman manages to stay afloat on the merit of its plot development – which sank other DCEU films.
Jason Mamoa as the titular Aquaman and Amber Heard as his partner Mera have an explosive on-screen chemistry that perfectly captures their romance. Mamoa made Aquaman feel like an epic action hero, even (somehow) pulling off the classic Aquaman suit.
While Momao’s Aquaman is the same fun-loving Aquaman audiences saw in Justice League, his character is far more fleshed out in this film – displaying his relationship with his father, his thoughts on being king of Atlantis, and the loss of his mother.
Momoa pulled off quite a few funny quips during the film that will certainly garner a smile; however, there were a few punch lines that were misses – which could make a few scenes fall flat. However, Momoa’s charm as Aquaman is certainly a highlight in the film.
Amber Heard pulls of the magic-wielding Atlantean, Mera, with grace. She shows that Mera is another strong female character in the DCEU that can fight for herself.
Ocean Master, played by Patrick Wilson, is arguably the best villain of the DCEU so far. He captures the persona of his comic book counter-part perfectly; which is, a ruthless king who will do anything to get what he wants. While he does have a few cliché villain lines, it doesn’t distract you from his overall character arc.
A character I most looked forward seeing in the film was Black Manta, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. His suit was super cool and looked like it was taken right out of the comics. But while Black Manta’s origin story was mournful and creative, the character’s personality itself felt whiny. His crazy obsession with Aquaman, which makes sense to a certain point, made his character feel a little annoying to watch on screen.
While the film is full of CGI, it does suffer from a few offputting visuals. The scene that takes place in an intense, bright, room where Ocean Master puts Aquaman on trial comes to mind. However, the overall film itself is beautiful, and that’s thanks to Wan’s incredible vision of Aquaman and Atlantis. Any scenes to feature Atlantis, or just any underwater scene, is incredible.
The part the stood out the most to me was the conclusion of the film. Ocean Master’s army of seahorse riding Atlanteans fight against Aquaman and his army of fish, whales, sharks, and a Kraken. Just watching the two sides clash was jaw-dropping because of the outstanding effects that were put into the film.
The overall action of the film is ground-breaking and is fun to watch. Aquaman pulls some heavy punches and delivers some clever one-liners while doing it. The scenes that include him fighting baddies in the submarine comes to mind here. The fights between Aquaman and Ocean Master are outstanding to watch because of how intense they are. James Wan takes advantage of the whole underwater aspect of the film and turns their fights that more epic. Aquaman and Ocean Master zoom all around an arena throwing punches and tridents at each other. Black Manta’s best parts were when he was fighting – when he shoots his laser beams, you forget about the setbacks of the character. Mera was extremely violent when it came to her fighting some Atlantean henchmen by hand. She uses her magic abilities a few times to fight off henchmen, which was impressive, and the film certainly should have added more of it.
Overall, Aquaman is a great film to watch and shows that the DCEU is heading in the right direction. It uses its comic book roots to show that it can be quirky and be packed with action. The visual effects are probably the best in the DCEU by far, and the cast is most certainly the highlight of the film. The end-credit scene won’t really satisfy your need for more but just leave you confused. None the less, Aquaman scores high with an 8 out of 10.