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(film review) - Aquaman

My Mother was the Queen of Atlantis.  She fell in love with my father, a human and then I was born.  She was driven back to the seas, when I was just a boy, but then she went missing.  Atlantis is looking to a new ruler, but is now under the threat of my brother, the Ocean Master, who wants the throne by inciting war between my two worlds.  My name is Arthur Curry and I must reclaim the throne as King of Atlantis and I am the only person who can stop him.  I am, Aquaman.

For those familiar, I think I could have come up with a better one (considering I wrote a different one 4-6 times or even more), but I’m finding these amusing.  Hopefully I will stop soon.  But for now, it gets the job done and just as it states, as jokingly as I do them, this is the synopsis of the film.  Yes, there is more detail packed into this movie, so I’ll go into it a little trying not to spoil anything.

Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), a man who is born of two completely different worlds continues to do what he feels is right, living life and saving those less fortunate – being a hero.  Having been contacted by his long-time friend, Mira (Amber Heard) who continues a conversation |they had in Justice League about the division of Atlantis, Arthur is essentially, not interested in any of the politics of Atlantis as he believes he is not of that world and he will not be accepted due to not being of full Atlantian blood.  He doesn’t want to get involved with the hierarchy of the people or becoming their King, but he is then thrust into the situation when his brother Orm Marius (Patrick Wilson), decides to take the position to, not only be the king, but to incite war among the land dwellers, his home.  Arthur must stop his brother, gain acceptance by the people of Atlantis and reclaim the throne as the true king! Oh, and have a great adventure along the way.

James Wan’s Aquaman is similar to many other movies that came before it, such as Black Panther or even the Lion King just to name a few.  Nothing ground-breaking at all, however with the run time of 143 minutes, it is over 2hrs of what he claims to be swash-buckling fun, as we travel with Arthur across many locations, challenge his brother and to also defeat his antagonist, the Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).  For the most part, this movie is good.  Although it lacks depth in the story and some of the characters, I did have a good time with it because James Wan knows how to direct entertaining movies, whether it is The Fast and the Furious (Fast & Furious 7) or The Conjuring. 

This film has many different tones to it, but he manages to bring it altogether without it feeling disjointed.  The film succeeds in being a comic book movie with some light-heartedness, some horror/terror elements and family dynamics that doesn’t actually bore you to death, but this possibly could be due to the relentless action and terrible chopping, editing and “jump-scare” explosions that occur throughout.

I felt the film, although over two hours jumped from scene to scene quickly and the lack of character development meant that some characters could have been cut out of the movie altogether.  A specific character (in whom I will not mention) could have been introduced briefly only to be a major foil in the sequel.  Their storyline ultimately did nothing for the film or the character.  They will probably bring the character back anyway, but the film was unnecessarily long due to this.

Visually, the movie is stunning and there are some excellent visuals that took my breath away and coincidently took me out of the movie for a moment as some scenes could be framed and hung and placed on a wall, i.e the “trench run” or the moment before it, or the final battle at the end or many other moments in the movie.  One of the visually annoying things I found was seeing this movie in Screen X at Cineworld.  I think I would have preferred D-Box as I found the intermittent changing of the screen's length distracting as I change focus and become more aware of the extra space and more screen...and people moving down the stairs to use the bathroom for example.

Although, loosely connected to the same universe as Man of Steel, Wonder Woman and Batman vs Superman, Justice League and Suicide Squad, it would be interesting to see where they will go next with the sequel they have mentioned for Suicide Squad or Birds of Prey and it seems as though Warner Bros do not know what they are doing although they are slightly righting the ship, but they could easily mess it up at this point.

Although, some great action set-pieces and a decent story with decent acting, I won't be in a rush to see this movie again.  However, if you liked Aquaman the ultimate surfer bro from Justice League, then you will like this movie too.  I guess at this point we are wondering when they are going to trip up since they seem to be on a winning streak, WB. It can only last soo long, right? RIGHT? Well let's hope so!


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