Last night my wife and I went on a movie date to see "Aquaman".
Going into this movie I had very, very little expectations. I'm a Marvel fan. I have made that abundantly clear many times. I am not a big fan of the DC series, with the exceptions being the Christopher Nolan "Batman" movies and the "Wonder Woman" movie that came out a few years back. Most other DC movies are not good. "Batman V Superman" was mad dull. "Justice League" was too dark and boring. The "Superman" movies with Henry Cavill are just flat out bad. So I wasn't too high on "Aquaman". But, my wife wanted to go to the movies, and she wanted to see "Aquaman". Also, I like Jason Momoa, so I was in.
Now, as I get deeper into my review, I am going to be as spoiler free as possible. So, first things first, this movie is visually stunning. It was a delight to look at for 2 and a half hours. It was bright and vibrant and just plain cool. Whoever concocted this universe with this color palette totally nailed it. Then we have the star of the movie, Jason Momoa. Honestly, I would watch this dude read a phone book and he'd make it enjoyable. He is also a very attractive guy. It's the truth. Part of where he got to where he is today is his looks. As we were watching the movie I told my wife that he is what Taylor Lautner wishes he could be. Momoa is charismatic and funny and I bought him as this half bred fish/human being. He seems like a genuinely cool dude, and that came across on the screen. I also enjoyed the jokey nature of the movie. It didn't take itself too seriously. Sure, the bad guys did their villainous things, and some of the dialogue was corny, more on that later, but all in all, it was a fast moving movie with some jokes sprinkled in and out. Also, as I just mentioned before, the movie did not feel like it was 2 and a half hours. The flow was nice and the battle scene after battle scene made its pace that much more fun. I was never bored, and I found myself enjoying the movie.
Now for the picky side of me to come out. I love Nicole Kidman. I think she is a wonderful actress, and I usually enjoy her in the many movies I have seen her in. That being said, she was not great in "Aquaman". She seemed almost tacked on. I think she took this part because she passed on "Wonder Woman", and her role felt hollow. Patrick Wilson, as King Orm, was too cliché of a villain. He yelled and stalked and did all the things that typical cartoon villains do. While I think he is a solid actor, he does not play a good bad guy. Amber Heard is the female Taylor Lautner. That's right, I have 2 Lautner references in this post. She is in movies because she is unfairly beautiful. But her performance was very meh, and she had no chemistry with Momoa. That was one of my wife's biggest criticisms. Heard felt out of place. Willem Dafoe was also pretty useless in the movie. He helped a young Aquaman learn his powers, but he was just kind of there. He didn't bring much of anything to this movie.
My biggest problem with this movie, and this goes for all DC movies for that matter, whenever the hero is getting ready for a big battle scene, there is some cheesy 80's guitar riffs played over and over again. It is so dumb and sometimes it totally takes me out of the moment. That music drives me nuts.
All this being said, I enjoyed "Aquaman". If it just had the battle scenes and the stuff with his dad, it would have easily gotten an A from me. But, the people writing the movie had to fill the time, and they added some stuff that wasn't necessary. That is the case with most super hero movies. All in all, I liked it. If I did have to give it a letter grade I would give it a solid B-. This is definitely the second best recent DC movie, far, far behind "Wonder Woman". But, I would recommend this to everyone. It is family friendly, not bloody, not too violent and fun. It is also visually stunning. "Aquaman" is a perfect popcorn movie. That's the best compliment I can give it.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He thoguht Vinnie Chase was the only man that could play Aquaman. He is happy to be wrong in his ignorance of real life.
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