Aquaman Movie Review


Chris Stuckmann


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Aquaman was directed by James Wan and stars Jason Momoa as Arthur curry and in this film he discovers that he is the rightful heir to the underwater Kingdom called Atlantis and he must fight or also known as the ocean master played by Patrick Wilson because he also wants that Kingdom under his rule I've been following James wants career for a really long time ever since saw insidious the conjuring I think he's one of the most talented directors working today I've always been so excited to see him get bigger and better gigs I think he's great and so I was really curious to see how he would bring Aquaman to the big screen because this superhero doesn't necessarily have the same reputation as some of the more iconic ones that we know today for a while he was kind of a joke and it's been more recent comics that have made the character a lot more badass and more entertaining and so I was curious to see how they would handle this this is a very self-aware film that's knowingly silly that's purposefully over-the-top that throws everything at the screen in a gigantic explosion of underwater festivities and so much color and pure enjoyment and fun that I couldn't help but smile through most of Aquaman I think this is a really entertaining movie and I am very surprised to say that because the trailers didn't really impress me they looked like a bit of a mess I was concerned about overuse of CGI but I have to say please all the visual effects designers have worked on this film pat yourself on the back because the work that's on display here is so incredibly impressive it's a beautiful movie I mean yeah a lot of it is CG you can't make this movie without CG but there were times where it reminded me of Avatar just how colorful it was how beautiful everything looked the the ocean creatures and the costume design everything just leaps off the screen it's such a bright and vivid looking movie and Jason Momoa is perfect casting here I really can't imagine anyone else as this character having seen him as Arthur curry he's clearly relishing every minute he has on screen he brings so much physicality to the action scenes which James Wan has taken a very unique approach to all of the hand-to-hand combat scenes and the underwater battles were surprisingly unique looking all the fight scenes are in great wide shots you can see everything that's going on and I think this is some of my favorite action I've seen in the DC Universe so far James Wan did a great job helming these action scenes and honestly for a film that I wasn't really anticipating all that much from I found myself really enjoying how purposefully silly this movie was I said to my friends when it ended I was like that felt like anime that felt like a Saturday morning on Toonami watching Dragon Ball Z it's really loud and big there is no holding back people flex their muscles and scream and shout declarations of Valor shouting whoo their names are and over-the-top poses and everything like it's it's really out there and some people are going to look at that and say well that's cringe-worthy that was horrible that would that was just really dumb like they're gonna compare it to other films that have tried to be a lot more over the top and say well they didn't really understand what those films need and this is one of those movies where I can actually completely understand that like I saw it with four people and a couple of us were like yeah and then the other two were like okay I actually really like that so it could polarize fans a little bit but I feel like it's one of those movies where I can completely understand if you think this movie is just so bad that it's funny but my retort to that is that the craft that's on display the action sequences the visual effects the colors the musical score everything is really well done and so I can't help but think that James Wan was trying to make a cheesy 80s cartoon he cast Dolph Lundgren in the film for God's sakes he knows what he's doing he is purposefully making a film that is so self-aware that embraces its inner Thundercats or Sailor Moon or all of those really cheesy cartoons that so many people actually really love and if you can accept that and appreciate that and understand that that's really what they're going for because one has said that an interview that he wanted to make a very fun movie that knew exactly what it was and that put everything on the screen on purpose to assault you with this over the I mean an octopus plays the fucking drums okay they knew what they were doing and it's all the better for it I looked over at my buddy when we were watching and I was laughing but not like laughing at it it was just like they really did that they really did that that's fucking hilarious and a lot of that really made me happy but there's gonna be a lot of people who won't look at it like that they're not gonna see that and they're just gonna think it's really poorly done but if you're the type of person who loves cheesy 80s cartoons or anime from that period like very shown in anime like Ronin warrior type stuff here okay there's a lot of yelling and there's a lot of really macho testosterone muscley stuff like if it wasn't underwater they'd all be covered in baby oil that's the type of movie that James Wan made here and I really appreciated that unfortunately sometimes the narrative and the pacing suffer as a result it's never a slow film and when I say pacing I don't always mean that oh this scene is boring or this scene isn't fast enough for this scene is too fast sometimes it just means that scenes aren't structured as properly as they could be it is a film that sometimes feels like we're going to this place to get this thing all right we got that let's go to this place to get this thing okay now we have that let's go here there's a very Indiana Jones type feel to it you feel sometimes like you aren't really watching a story so much as a really entertaining series of scenes there's also some D aging makeup early on with a character that was so noticeable that it really took me out of almost every scene this person was in and it really bugged me because there's so many emotional scenes early on that are supposed to really hook you into the heartfelt part of this film and I was just looking at a play-doh guy there's also a major attempt to get deep into the backstory of Aquaman when he was a younger kid and it feels so quick and so incredibly rushed and pushed to the side I just think that the first act of the movie was a ruff it starts to pick up its pace and get a lot more entertaining once the main mission starts so to speak and towards the end everything is just flying left and right this is now the fifth time that Patrick Wilson has worked with James Wan after the two conjuring and two insidious films they obviously have a great working relationship together and he does a pretty good job in the movie the character could have been a lot more fleshed out though he's a very cliched villain he wants to throne Aquaman is the rightful heir they were gonna clash and okay you know I'll say this though like the the conclusion for those characters actually did surprise me but his character's motivation was just something we've seen a thousand times before as a physical presence though he was great like I actually felt that he could kick the shit out of Aquaman if he wanted to and their sequences where he does I also liked how Aquaman wasn't perfect in this movie like he loses a lot of battles some people are gonna hate the way this movie turned out they are going to zero in on the really cheesy aspects of it and say that's bad I wanted a more serious Aquaman and some people who don't give a shit about Aquaman are just gonna look at it and say that's really silly and dumb and it's bad I have to disagree purely because I feel like that's exactly what they're trying to make and I love that I love a bunch of people that get together and purposefully make a Saturday morning cartoon with this insane budget and all of these actors who are going for it on screen the visual effects are just absolutely stunning it does however have a lot of narrative and pacing issues it feels very rushed at times and sometimes it's a bit too slow in regards to what it does there are backstories that don't always come to full arc and sometimes they feel like they were forgotten or thrown away and there is some really noticeable de-aging CGI that takes you out of the movie early on and the first act definitely had some narrative and structure issues but the movie saves itself continuously with insanely good action sequences and a really fun performance by Jason Momoa I'm gonna give Aquaman a be I want to see this movie again purely because there's a laser sharks in it I don't know what else you could possibly want in life I mean that's what dr. evil wanted for a long time and Aquaman gave it to us I enjoyed the film I'm curious to know what other people think about it thank you so much guys for watching and as always if you liked this you can click right here and get stuck mine eyes [Music]