After waiting for more than a year, DC has finally released a superhero movie, after the controversies surrounding Justice League. There are many clichés of an origin story in Aquaman as well, some good some bad. The movie starts off slowly and takes its time to pick up the pace. There are a lot of subplots which seem unnecessary during the first 20 mins, and the movie seems to be falling off, but the screenplay gets better as we progress in the world of Arthur Curry.
The story can be described as a treasure hunt, where the lead is in search of an ancient trident to prove himself to others. There is a lot of information that the movie tries to convey to the audience in the first act which begins to seem forced after a while and understandably so, as it has to catch us up on the different water worlds. However, James Wan does a great job of tying up all the subplots and there are no loose ends left by the time the movie finishes.
Jason Mamoa does a good job as the lead and is completely believable as a filthy-animal, however, the other characters in the movie are as important as Arthur because the movie could not have been as amazing if it had over-relied on Mamoa. Amber Heard is not another token female character in “something-something” superhero movie and can be considered as a second lead who has her own motives. William Dafoe who plays Vulko does a commendable job and is not Dafoe in this one, unlike most of his roles. Nicole Kidman is in the movie for a few minutes and is okayish. Patrick Wilson and Yahya Abdul Mateen II as Orm and Manta stand out among all the others as their characters have deeper drives and disposition. Temuera Morrison as Arthurs dad is forgettable and doesn’t have a deeper impact on the story, and what little flesh his role has, looks forced.
The visuals are stunning and some of the scenes are absolutely marvelous, and make it worth watching on the big screen, 3D or otherwise. There are a lot of small fight scenes sprinkled across the movie and each of them is visually different than the other. The fight between Black Manta and Arthur Curry is the most epic sequence in the movie stunts wise. The trench sequence was unlike any other scene and stands out from the rest of the setpieces. Although the final fight has a lot of CGI in it, the way it is shot and executed does not make it an eyesore.
After watching the trailers, I expected the background score to be as good as the ones in previous DC movies. But the score falls short as it doesn’t reach the epicness of Man of Steel or Batman V Superman. The music seems really out of place in a few sequences and the dubstep score can barely be heard during the Sicily action scene. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously in a good way and knows when to hold back and let go. All in all, Aquaman is a unique take on another superhero origin which is worth watching on the big screen even though there are a few discrepancies here and there. One won’t be able to appreciate the beautiful visuals as much if it is seen on a television or a computer screen.