The years haven’t been kind to the DC film universe. While there have been some decent films such as Wonder Woman, the majority of the films have had mixed/poor receptions from audiences. Aquaman however, has bucked the trends of the previous films and found commercial and critical success. Nevertheless, I was still surprised and disappointed by the film in multiple ways.
Aquaman Is Finally Cool!
Who would have ever thought that Aquaman of all characters would finally be cool? Jason Momoa’s performance brings a certain energy to the film that the entire DC film universe was missing. Unlike the previous Batman and Superman films, Momoa is ecstatic to be Aquaman and his charisma really shows. Instead of simply playing Aquaman, Momoa earns the official cinematic title of Aquaman.
The Dialogue Is Terrible Sometimes.
I didn’t go into Aquaman expecting Quentin Tarantino levels of dialogue, but some of the delivery in the film feels stiff. While no actor does a terrible job necessarily, you can tell that the film wasn’t aspiring to win any awards for best screenplay. The film forces its actors to deliver important lines about character relationships without taking the necessary time to develop said relationships.
The Lore Was Intriguing.
I was blown away by how invested I became in the world. Everything surrounding the origins of Atlantis had me fully engaged. Before seeing the film I had the impression that it was just going to be the underwater version of Black Panther, but the film managed to set up many underwater kingdoms that I couldn’t get enough of. In fact, the amount of content in the film was enough to supply at least two more films in future sequels.
The Villains Were Underwhelming.
In a year that had villains such as Erik Killmonger and Thanos, the main antagonist in Aquaman just didn’t measure up. Sure Black Mantis and Ocean Master (terrible name) had amazing fight scenes, but they each felt underdeveloped and shallow. I didn’t once feel compelled by their plight against our hero and was honestly only interested in how Aquaman was going to take them down.
The Action Was Incredible.
Some may say that the film was riddled with too much c.g.i but I felt that the special effects enhanced the film. Everything from the one on one fights to the epic underwater sieges was stunning to witness. One minute you think that the film’s scope can’t get any larger and somehow it defies your expectations. The film knows that it’s a big blockbuster superhero movie and proudly displays this.
Certain Aspects Felt Rushed.
The downside of having so much content packed into the film is that much of it felt rushed. The film’s primary objective is to show audiences the multimillion-dollar action scenes but this is done at the expense of other things. The relationship of Aquaman’s parents, for instance, feels glossed over as well as the childhood of Aquaman. We are shown glimpses of these key moments but the film only shows the bare minimum.
There Is Hope For The DCEU!
While the chance of DC catching up to Marvel are slim, at least the future films have a beacon of hope to strive towards. The glory days of the Dark Knight are far behind us but DC can learn from the success of Aquaman. I’ll be honest, like most people I expected this film to be a shipwreck (see what I did there?) but I ended up enjoying it. The film may have some flaws here and there but for overall I found the movie entertaining throughout. I give Aquaman 3 out 5 stars!