D: James Wan
Warner Bros/DC/Cruel & Unusual/Mad Ghost (Peter Safran & Rob Cowan)
USA 🇺🇸 2018
W: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall, Geoff Johns & James Wan [based on characters created by Mort Weisinger & Paul Norris]
DP: Don Burgess
Ed: Kirk Morri
Mus: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry / Aquaman), Amber Heard (Mera), Willem Dafoe (Vulko), Patrick Wilson (Orm Marius), Dolph Lundgren (Nereus), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (David Kane / Black Manta), Nicole Kidman (Atlanna), Temeura Morrison (Thomas Curry)
It's fair to say that DC comics, desperate for a series of movies to rival Marvel's Cinematic Universe, have had an erratic output so far.
Wonder Woman was a success, scoring with audiences as well as critics, but the other films have been rather underwhelming. For me, Man Of Steel was disappointing, Suicide Squad was a disjointed mess and Batman vs Superman was incredibly poor. I didn't think Justice League was as bad as some of the reviews I've seen or heard, but it certainly had flaws, especially with its inconsistent visual effects.
Aquaman, who featured as one of the Justice League members, gets his own origin tale here, and in fairness, it's closer to Wonder Woman's quality than the other movies.
Born the son of the Queen of Atlantis and a human lighthouse keeper, Arthur Curry (Aquaman) is asked to challenge for the throne of the secret underwater world to prevent a war between land and sea, instigated by the current king of the sea, Arthur's half-brother.
Aquaman reluctantly accepts and also faces a villain in the form of Black Manta, a pirate who seeks revenge following the death of his father in the opening skirmish.
The action scenes and visual effects throughout are reasonably good, bringing a lot of light to a series of comic book movies which have been quite dark up until now.
The only minor irritants are that the plot bears a lot of similarities with Black Panther, released the same year (therefore, if you don't like this movie, you're racist against fish), and the running time is about 30 minutes too long, mostly due to the padded-out scenes trawling through exposition.
All-in-all, it's a fun slice of science fiction hokum, and the only thing I really didn't like in the entire film was Pitbull's shit cover version of Toto's Africa.
Award Wins & Nominations: