Aquaman

aquaman_ver11STARS3.5Well, it finally happened.
Aquaman got his own film.  What was once a running gag on the HBO program Entourage (i.e. “James Cameron’s Aquaman”) has become reality at the cineplex.  Life imitates art.  Alright, so James Wan of Furious 7 fame is the director in this case, but it became a huge hit just like it did in the TV show.  The idea of a half man and half Atlantean superhero that communicates with fish as a superpower was always kind of humorous.  His wholesome depiction in the animated 1970s TV series Super Friends certainly didn’t encourage viewers to take him more seriously.  The remedy?  Re-imagine the look of the character, keep things somewhat lighthearted and embrace the silliness. Aquaman is like the Saturday morning serials of the 1930s & 1940s that featured characters like Buck Rodgers and Flash Gordon.  Obviously, a DC movie from Warner Bros. features an astronomically higher budget.  This allows for eye-popping special effects, colorful set design and a whole raft of stars that include Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, and Nicole Kidman.

This is not your father’s version of the superhero.  He stands in stark contrast to previous incarnations of the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis.  “I’m the first mixed-race superhero,” star Jason Momoa has said.  With his long hair and tattoos, the native Hawaiian’s winking portrayal makes perfect sense in the story.  Aquaman is a half breed born to a human father (Temuera Morrison), who’s a lighthouse keeper and the Atlantean princess of a deep-sea kingdom (Nicole Kidman).  Momoa plays the titular character with the swagger of that guy you’d want on your side in a bar brawl.  “Permission to come aboard” he introduces himself well after he has already smashed his way into a submarine.  The line could’ve been uttered by Arnold in his prime.   That’s Schwarzenegger to you children.  Momoa’s charismatic personality complements the impressive production design.  After the Kingdom of Atlantis sunk into the ocean, it split into seven separate realms.  Each one is a whimsically imagined metropolis where people ride sea dragons and sharks.   No seahorses though.  Apparently,  they weren’t macho enough.  There’s a lot to dazzle the eye.  Yes, I’ll admit the film is far too long and there are perhaps too many generic battles that drag things down. Nevertheless, this is mostly a lighthearted production where people actually take the time to discuss things.  The spectacle is the triumph of a creative spirit.   Its essence is quite simply, pure fun.

12-21-18

6 Responses to “Aquaman”

  1. smilingldsgirl Says:

    Cool to read your review. Glad you enjoyed it more than I did. I kind of wish they had stayed with the whole explorer segment longer. That was fun. Heard and Mamoa and their banter had moments and I liked the opening with Nicole Kidman’s character. Much of the rest was not for me but they tried

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    • I really enjoyed the setup too. I liked that mom (Nicole Kidman) was torn between the earthly and water worlds. Her reunion with Aquaman was poignant. Jason Maomaa was funny. That bar selfie scene was hilarious! Her other son Orm (Patrick Wilson) motivations made sense. Lots to recommend. It wasn’t deep (and far too long) but I was certainly entertained.

      Merry Christmas!!!

      Like

  2. That is a “short and sweet” review! I like it. I look forward to jumping in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen Nicole Kidman in a few movies this year. She’s been my favorite actress of the year. She didn’t disappoint me here. The movie was so fun. Jasón did an amazing job. He made this fun. 3 1/2 stars

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