Directed by: James Wan
Story by: James Wan, Will Beall, Geoff Johns
Screenplay by: Will Beall, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Based on Characters Created by: Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger for DC
Produced by: Rob Cowan, Peter Safran
Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman, Ludi Lin and Temuera Morrison.
Aquaman was always going to be a difficult adaptation – the film about ‘fish boy[‘s]. No, it’s fish men!’; the setting underwater.
But with James Wan as director and one of the writers, I went into the film somewhat reassured.
Then the film opened with Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), Atlantean royalty meeting a surface dweller, and I was thrown because I just couldn’t believe I was seeing an Atlantis queen falling in love, the contrast a little too much.
Perhaps it was seeing Nicole Kidman as an action figure?!
And there were times when I really couldn’t decide whether to laugh with the film or at it – the guitar riff to highlight a joke not helping.
Yet, as the film progressed and Jason Momoa as Aquaman opened up to give us a down-to-earth (well, half-surface dweller, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry) hero, I became more absorbed.
Forbidden love between a queen of the sea and a man from the surface bears a forbidden son, a half-breed. Aquaman.
Yet even as a half-breed, Aquaman has the right to claim the throne of Atlantis instead of his younger half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) who plots to become the Ocean Master; to bring together all seven kingdoms of the underwater world: Atlantis, Brine, Fisherman, Xebel, Trench, Deserter and the Lost.
Together they can destroy those on the surface.
Afterall, aren’t the surface-dwellers creating pollution and trashing the sea into poison for those who inhabit its waters?
Those who want peace with the surface dwellers not war, rise to the surface to seek Aquaman to fight for the throne to then save those above and below, with love-interest Mera (Amber Heard) abandoning Atlantis, just like his mother. All leading to the meeting of the two brothers on opposing sides of an inevitable battle.
The writers have created enough twists and turns to keep the film interesting and it has to be noted the film has a different tone to the other DC, Justice League films.
Aquaman is more a technologically based world with an 80s-esq tone including synth soundtrack and fluorescent-lit underwater worlds that become more spectacular as the film progresses.
Let me state again, it gets better!
There’s the expected cheese, because, yeah, this is Aquaman: Son of the land, king of the sea.
But Wan has offset this with humour and his own unique style.
Jason Momoa’s performance as Aquaman certainly helped.
So after an ordinary beginning, Aquaman ramps up to a deliver a visually stunning entertainer that was able to take a laugh at itself with a story that comes full circle.
In the end, it was actually pretty good.
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