Thursday, December 27, 2018

Aquaman - Movie Review

The Movie: Aquaman

The Director: James Wan

The Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Ludi Lin, Randall Park, Michael Beach, Graham McTavish,

The Story: Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

The Review:
Oh man, there is so much to like about this movie. It's big. it's bold, and it doesn't care what other brand you want to compare it to. James Wan takes the high flying hi-jinks and over the top action he employed during his stint with the Fast and Furious franchise and plugs all of it into this super hero origin story. There are obvious influences from so many different movies, I'll list the ones I can remember off hand. Tron, Tron: Legacy, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Jurassic Park, Alien, Pacific Rim, and How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Somehow, this trip down blockbuster lane works really well in the context of the movie and never comes off like it's trying to copy those aforementioned films. The pacing of the movie is non stop and super fast just like you would expect from a super hero story so there's not much time to fret over plot details and film making techniques. Any concern I had was quickly dismissed because I was having way too much of a good time to bother with such things and my movie buddy friend who was only there to see Jason Momoa seemed to be having just as much of a good time.

Speaking of Jason Momoa, I feel like he didn't do much in the way of acting or creating a character that was nothing more than just being himself but he's such an engaging personality it still works nicely to go that route. Amber Heard is also certainly impressive as the strong female presence and constant challenge to Aquaman's machismo. They do go down the road of her being a love interest but in a way that shows they are both better people for having to work together and get to know each other's strengths. Both the actors and the characters complement each other very well and there is definitely a natural chemistry between the two.

Being a super hero movie, you can expect there to be some big action set pieces and tons of special effects work but I don't know if anyone was ready for the all out onslaught of epic awesomeness that James Wan and crew threw into their film. Just about anything can be found at some point in the movie from monsters straight out of deep sea nightmares to massive ships that are best described as military style watercraft carriers. I was also impressed with how everything looks especially considering the fact that so much of the action takes place under water.

The Verdict:
Aquaman is the DC movie we've been waiting for. The story stands alone and has a very unique style compared to what we've seen previously from the DC expanded universe and I really hope this is the direction they are heading. I saw the movie in normal 2D but go see it in whatever format you choose, it's going to be awesome.

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