by Douglas Montgomery II
From the pages of DC comics, to your local theater, Aquaman splashes onto the big screen like a tidal wave! And though technically, Aquaman was introduced in 2017’s Justice League, this is his debut and what a spectacular debut it is! Although it’s not perfect, as DC has had some missteps with some of it’s live action adaptations. Aquaman joins the DC ranks of 2017’s Wonder Woman, 2013’s Man of Steel, and yes even 2005’s Batman Begins, as solid, outstanding super-hero origin movies.
Let me get the imperfections quickly out of the way. My quibble, and singular complaint with Aquaman is the first act. The first 30 to 45 minutes of this movie moves so fast, with so much thrown at you, I felt like I was drowning and gasping for breath. The pacing, and initial story telling is a little all over the place and needed to slow down a bit. So many characters are thrown at you in the span of a half hour, I don’t know how a non-comic fan could keep up. Bottom line, I wished the maker’s of this film would’ve allowed some build up to the spectacle you eventually receive.
Aquaman, portrayed by Jason Momoa seems born to play this role and is clearly enjoying himself as the underwater hero of the sea. He makes his first appearance quickly establishing himself as a bad ass and let’s you know what kind of power is at his disposal. Directed by James Wan, story by comic book writer Geoff Johns, Will Beall, and Wan, these guys definitely know the Aquaman mythology. And the characters are all comic book-perfection. Villain Black Manta played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is spot on, and so are the rest of the cast which include: Amber Heard/Mera, Willem Dafoe/Vulko, Patrick Wilson/King Orm, Nicole Kidman/Atlanna, and Dolph Lundren as King Nereus.
Aquaman is full of dazzling special effects, making the kingdom of Atlantis a character onto itself. There’s a lot to see on screen to the point you’ll need a second or third viewing just to catch all the sea life, Atlantean monsters, weapons, and underwater vehicles on display. Warner Bros clearly spared no expense depicting all things Aquaman from over 70 years of his comic book history. I also tip my hat to the fantastic costume design by Kym Barret. As well as, the art direction, which is imaginative and phenomenal to behold.
I would recommend you see it in a theater with Dolby Cinema to really appreciate all the eye candy popping before your eyes. This is one movie anyone with a fancy home theater will really appreciate once it’s released on home video. I can already see it blasting across every flat screen in Best Buy stores and to great effect! Aquaman is an extremely entertaining, popcorn flick to be sure, with some awesome effects and some absolutely bad-ass fight sequences you’ll want to see repeatedly. Any DC or Marvel comic book fan will enjoy! I know I did!
Aquaman is the king of Atlantis, the hero of the sea, and this holiday season he rules the box office Throne! Go check it out!