Do I really want to end the year with an Aquaman review? Or depending on how quickly I can get this out, starting the new year off with an Aquaman review.
Either way, starting or ending, it’s going to be Aquaman. And honestly, I might be okay with that if not for the fact that I can barely remember anything that happened in this movie.
I just remember a bunch of stupid shit happened and I was pleased by the end of it.
This film is as dumb as carrying a ziploc bag of your own shit around with you. Why keep it in a ziploc? I don’t know. Why your own? Who fuckin’ knows! But you are and for some reason you’re kind of enjoying the warmth it’s giving you in your pocket.
Shitty pockets aside, Aquaman wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be. I mean, it is. It’s a dumb fucking movie that needs to be wearing a helmet most of the time for its own safety, yet I found myself enjoying the idiotic ride it was taking me on.
Maybe I’m the one that needs the helmet.
There’s a good amount to dislike about this movie, the acting is bad, the writing is fucking terrible, the SFX are laughable, the costumes looks pathetic… the plot is generic and is a Frankenstein monster of several other superhero movies, more noticeably Black Panther.
They must have known they were making an underwater version of Black Panther, right? They had to of seen the similarities. The obvious, glaring similarities that a blind person could point out.
I’m hitting all the handicap jokes today, so steady yourself, direct all angry comments to Hank. I need to be careful and not end up like Louis C.K., mocking school shooting victims too. As long as I still get to jerk it in front of strangers I’ll be okay.
The dialogue in this is the worst I’ve ever seen in a modern day superhero movie. Every single line anyone ever has, especially Aquaman himself, is just one-liners. Every single word out of his mouth is like it was written with the trailer in mind.
It’s not just him, it’s everyone in this. One of the worst examples being the back and forth between Black Manta and his father.
Did we hit something? No, something hit us.
It’s that type of shit throughout the entire movie. Working off a James Gunn quality script, this is not.
The humor in this is also off and weird. The best example of it being out of place is the beginning where Aquaman is a bit of a celebrity now since the events of Justice League. A large biker calls him out in a bar. You think oh, time to throw down, but then like a schizophrenic, the biker has a personality switch and is now super gay with his pink phone, wanting a selfie with Aquaman.
It’s like something you’d see in a shitty 90’s comedy. It’s like you’re about to face an intimidating Dolph Lundgren then suddenly he turns into Lindsey Graham.
Speaking of Dolph Lundgren, he’s actually in this. As soon as I saw him as the underwater king, I knew what I was instore for. This was going to be The Fast and the Furious but under water, isn’t it?
And it is. Which might be why I liked this movie more than I should. The thing the Fast and Furious films get right, is… it’s dumb for sure, but it knows what it is. It knows how dumb it is and has fun with it. It never tries to be anything other than a super dumb action movie and I can appreciate that. That I can get behind.
Aquaman I think knows what it is. I mean, it’s about a guy who talks to fish. Everyone knows Aquaman is a bit of a joke in the superhero community.
Even Entourage knew how dumb Aquaman was as a superhero, which is why they picked him to base their fake movie on, thinking they’d never actually ever make an Aquaman movie. Well, joke is on you, Turtle, because they did make that movie and it’s outperforming at the box office.
Instead of the superhero that just talks to fish, Aquaman is basically Thor now. But! He can still talk to fish.
This might sound crazy, but this I think is my favorite of the DC universe films. I know, not a ton to really choose from, seeing as they’re all pretty terrible. It’s also shocking that I like this as much as I do since the DC cinematic universe is essentially dead. They lost their Superman and their Batman, the two pillars of the whole damn thing.They tried the darker side, more serious take on superheroes, and it didn’t work.
Now they seem to be coarse correcting, but really all they are doing is putting out subpar Marvel films. Wonder Woman was great… compared to other DCCU films. But compared to Marvel it was about mid-tier. Up there with maybe the first Ant-Man movie.
Aquaman compared to say Justice League or Man of Steel, looks pretty good in comparison. But put Aquaman next to Thor Ragnarok and… yeah, you get what I’m saying.
I don’t want to compare Aquaman to a Marvel movie or a DC movie as I didn’t see it as a superhero movie. I saw it as this weird off-shoot of the Fast and Furious franchise that now has a heist plot taking place in an underwater kingdom.
All this film needed was Vin Diesel to show up, giving an inspirational speech about family to a school of fish.
Aquaman takes place after the events of Justice League, which I think is a mistake, as this feels like it should be a prequel. We were introduced to this character in Justice League before learning anything about him.
Now in his first solo film, we are getting his background history. Plus that now has to force me to try to remember events from Justice League that I desperately don’t want to remember.
I’d forgotten how he knew Amber Heard’s character Mera. I remember she was in it, but that was about it.
The film starts off introducing us to Aquaman’s mother, Queen Atlanna played by Nicole Kidman. She washes ashore at a lighthouse, looked after by Aquaman’s dad Tom, played by Temuera Morrison. He’s been in a ton of things, yet I most remember him not as Jango Fett, but as the abusive alcoholic in Once Were Warriors.
Instead of seeing them fall in love, my inner thoughts are instead “girl, you better get the hell out of there before he kills you!”. Instead of hitting her in a drunken rage, he rescues her and treats her wounds.
The two fall in love and have little Aquaman. Years later the king’s men show up to take Atlanna back to Atlantis. A king we never meet by the way. I guess he died…
Atlanna fights them off but in the end decides she has to go back for her son’s protection. If the king knew she had a child with a surface dweller, he’d have them killed.
Years since her absence, Willem Dafoe shows up as Vulko to train Aquaman in the underwater martial arts, when he is old enough he can claim the crown and be king of Atlantis.
Aquaman has a brother, King Orm, played by Patrick Wilson, a James Wan go to actor. I didn’t notice it, but during a tsunami we get a quick glance at the Annabelle doll. So maybe this film might work better as a shared universe to the Conjuring films instead of the DCCU.
King Orm wants to bring the war to the surface world, much like Killmonger’s motivation from Black Panther.
To stop him from invading, Aquaman has to claim his rightfully place as Atlantis’ true ruler, seeing as he is the eldest son.
And of course the way to do that is to battle it out, much like Killmonger had to with Black Panther.
Meanwhile, King Orm has been going from underwater kingdom to underwater kingdom to gain support for his war on the surface world.
Many have refused, forcing him to go to war with them first.
I also seem to have forgotten Black Manta, the reason for that is so did the film.
We meet him at the beginning of the film when him and his father hijack a submarine, killing everyone inside. But they have this touching father son moment, as like we are meant to care for these characters.These characters who just gunned down a bunch of innocent people?
That’s asking for a lot, especially when Aquaman shows up to stop them, injuring Manta’s dad in a fight, pinning him under a fallen torpedo.
Aquaman refuses to help and leaves him to die, fueling Black Manta’s anger, seeking revenge. It kind of plays it like we are also meant to be somewhat angry.
Manta was working for King Orm to stage what seems to be an attack from the surface world.
The only payment Manta wants is to take his revenge on Aquaman, which he is given the chance by a delivery of high-tech Atlantis weaponry and power armor.
I’m only assuming here, but I’m guessing it was made specifically for underwater use, I’m sure. Yet! He never uses the suit under water. As quickly as he is introduced, he just as quickly disappears from the film. He gets his ass kicked again by Aquaman and we never see him for the rest of the movie.
He might as well have never even been in this. Plus his costume looks so damn stupid. That’s nothing new for DCCU as all their superhero costumes always look bad.
I think that has to do with how comic accurate they shoot for. Marvel always kind of takes some liberties with how their heroes are suited up. But DC seems to want comic book accurate looks, which to me looks sort of dumb.
Moving on to… oh, how stupid Nicole Kidman looks when she shows back up in this awful looking monster skin suit. She was said to have been killed by the king years ago, but really has been trapped in this Journey to the Center of the Earth area under the sea, where dinosaurs still exist.
Aquaman and Amber Heard end up there searching for the super trident, but it’s being guarded by a giant sea monster. The only way he manages to get out alive is because he can talk to fish.
Now Aquaman, his mom and his doped up love interest ride into battle with the super trident in hand, while riding the giant sea creature.
Aquaman and King Orm continue their fight, but since Aquaman has the super trident, he wipes the floor with him, gaining the respect of the people of Atlantis and taking the crown for himself.
Which to be honest, sounds like a pretty bad idea, right? Aquaman is kind of a dummy. It’s the same issue I had with Thor becoming king, they just are not ruler material. At least Thor grew up in Asgard, Aquaman has only visited Atlantis once in his lifetime and that resulted in him getting arrested and forced to fight to the death.
Just give the crown to their mom, let her rule. Maybe hold off on putting fishsticks in charge until he’s at least rented an apartment there or something.
That’s basically the plot to Aquaman. The film doesn’t shine in the storytelling, rather this is all about the action.
Scenes of people talking was basically filler until they could get to the next action sequence. James Wan knows how to film an exciting action scene. In general he’s a great director. The other reason Aquaman might remind me of a Fast and Furious film is because James Wan directed Furious 7.
The humor in this wasn’t great, a lot of it missed the mark, but there was a couple of times it worked for me. Like when one of the Atlantis assassins sent to the surface to kill Aquaman has his helmet break, needing water to breathe and the only source being a toilet bowel.
The other being when they needed water to activate this device like in The Fifth Element, so Amber Heard uses her water magic to summon some sweat from Aquaman’s skin, with him replying, I could have just peed on it.
I think I might actually like this more than Black Panther. I was pretty hard on that movie during my review, but I still enjoyed that movie enough to recommend it.
Aquaman won’t get any push for an Oscar, but as a dumb fun action superhero movie, I think it did what he was meant to do. Entertain. I know some might not feel the same way, or have a harder time to look past the film’s many many faults.
I didn’t even get into the absolute zero chemistry Jason Momoa and Amber Heard have together.
I give Aquaman a SEE IT rating.
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