First and foremost, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a happy holiday. I hope that as you read through my latest post, that you are found in the best of health, peace, prosperity and family fellowship. As many of you know, I’m a voracious movie devotee and avid comic book reader. Some folks are so quick to compare the success of Marvel/ Disney’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) to the DC Comics/ Warner Bros. Extended Universe (DCEU). I think it’s a bit unfair because Marvel was able to get a successful jump on their cinematic universe, and as I explained in an earlier post on the Justice League film, the movies of the DCEU have been overly scrutinized and dissected. Before I dive deeper into this review, I want to warn you of some minor spoilers ahead. As long as the waters are calm for you to navigate, please read on. Just a little Aquaman humor there.
Hats off to film director, James Wan, who has successful guided Warner Bros. latest comic book adventure to $22 million on Tuesday (December 25) for a five-day catch of $106 million. Aquaman is among great company as it is one of the few films—including, three Star Wars films, Avatar, and a Robert Downey Jr.-fueled Sherlock Holmes to ever topped $20+ million on Christmas Day. James Wan’s superhero blockbuster, starring Jason Momoa, has now grossed over $550 million worldwide. No offense to the Wonder Woman and Justice League films, in which I both loved—despite their flaws, but Aquaman is easily the best DC Universe film since Zack Snyder’s ‘Man of Steel’ film in my opinion. The visuals, the action, the score and the cinematography was all fantastic! The underwater spectacle also had a good touch of romance and comedy as well.
Aquaman, which has more than earned it’s keep and finally deserves to be taken seriously as an iconic character, wholeheartedly embraces its comic book roots, from the costume wardrobes, a spritz of cheesiness and just enough interest of the unconditional love between Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) and Thomas Arthur (Temuera Morrison), the parents of Arthur Curry. The breathtaking underwater adventure finds the hero reluctantly accept and understand both sides of his family and where he comes from in order to comprehend who he is and to find a greater purpose for his existence in the world. Jason Momoa, who is clearly having a total blast in his role as the title character, really shines and is brilliantly supported by a strong cast.
Director James Wan, who is widely known for directing horror films Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2 and the high-octane Furious 7, brings a sense of wonder and adrenaline-fueled action to life in a pretty epic way. Wan’s take on the superhero is fun, light and will be memorable for years to come. Wan really brought the visually beautiful Atlantis capital to life with a gorgeous combination of shining lights and an array of unique architecture, that would make Avatar, Tron: Legacy and the Black Panther films proud. You will definitely notice some of the influences from those films, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
I thought Amber Heard was terrific as Mera, who shared a significant portion of the film’s narrative, the action and adventure, while striving to bring peace to Atlantis and thwarting King Orm’s (portrayed by Patrick Wilson) efforts to destroy everything in his path. Orm, who is Arthur’s half-brother, threatens to wage war again the land dwellers for polluting the world’s oceans. I really enjoyed how Wilson was cast in the film. Getting back to Heard’s role as Mera, I think it’s crucial to see the leading lady in every superhero film being pushed to the forefront of the main synopsis. Diversity is also key as well.
In all honesty, I’ve never heard of actor, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. I have to look up which films he’s done in his career so far. He really brought an intensity to his role as Black Manta (David Hyde), which was reminiscent to Michael B. Jordan’s role as Erik Killmonger in Marvel’s Black Panther film. It’s evident that Black Manta is essentially introduced in the film, only to reappear in an inevitable sequel. Abdul-Mateen II did an outstanding job with the very little he was given. I can expect that he will have better material to work with when he’ll most likely be the primary villain in the sequel.
Overall, Aquaman is a further step in the right direction for DCEU. As long as Warner Bros. continues to stress the importance of character development, the motivation behind being a hero, keep the focus on the interpersonal relationships between the main heroes, while gradually introducing and exploring lesser-known characters, I think the DC Universe will experience greater success. Patience and consistency in the storytelling is also a must. On a scale of 1-10, I give Aquaman 8.5 seahorses.
What did you think of the Aquaman film? Was it everything you hoped for? What do you look forward to the most in future DC/ Warner Bros. films? I’d love to read some of your comments and suggestions.
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Aquaman Official Movie Trailer: