Aquaman - Another Superhero Movie
Aquaman - Introduction
I recently saw "Aquaman" earlier this week, although it came out quite awhile ago. I decided to wait until I could watch it in the comfort of home. "Aquaman" is a superhero movie about a man who has the ability to breathe under water and communicate with Marine life. It is produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Films, The Safran Company, Cruel and Unusual Films, Mad Ghost Productions. This movie is 2 hours and 22 minutes long. Circa 2018
Aquaman - Basics
We follow Aquaman's origin story essentially, beginning with his mother and father only to continue forth into the present when Aquaman is all grown up. All of the sudden, Aquaman is called upon for help despite his living his life on land. The world knows of Aquaman, he is certainly no secret like most superheros are portrayed. Aquaman is played by Jason Momoa.
Aquaman - The Good and the Bad
The Bad: First lets discuss the dialogue. Now in most superhero movies, the dialogue will always leave something to be desired because the movie depends more often than not solely on the action/fight scenes. Even with that in mind, the dialogue contained in this particular movie was ... to put it delicately, quite painful. Every line from a majority of the characters came across as extremely dramatic lines. Oddly placed because generally these types of lines only occur once or twice in a good movie.
This movie is peppered with extremely dramatic and off-putting sentences that come across very unnatural and forced. If what they say feels unbelievable, then it makes it that much more difficult for anything else in the movie to be believable. And maybe, some of it can be forgiven for any of the characters who are not human. But the father for example, he speaks the same way, and it just do not make sense and it sounds pretty ridiculous.
And this isn't a biased dig on the movie, it just is fact. If the dialogue is forced or far too formal with no basis for it being this way merely distracts from the movie. Another issue with this movie was it felt as if it was attempting to be two movies in one. Part of the issue is we don't really care about any of the characters because they act as if they are extremely well-established characters that we are all familiar with. Which only works if you're into Aquaman from the comics, but if your knowledge of Aquaman or anything related is minimal or completely nonexistent then this type of format just doesn't work. I knew of Aquaman but my knowledge of his background and his personal story was minimal. So, watching this as a more or less clueless viewer I expected more from this movie.
On the surface it looks like they tell you everything you need to know. But not in a way that makes you care for any of the characters. Which brings me to my next issue.
Big name actors carrying a movie. No matter how attractive/beautiful/sexy you are, if you're not a good actor, or if you're not delving into the role it does show. Now Jason Momoa is very gorgeous, no doubt about that. But my praise for him stops there. This movie milks his sexiness in the most obvious, in your face, obnoxious way to the point where it isn't even sexy it just comes across as comical. Nearly every time we see him, there's this obvious guitar riff that follows his on screen appearance. I guess to enhance his appeal. Lots of slo-mo visuals to appreciate his tattoos and such. But did he make me care for him? Worry for him? Worry about anyone in the film? Not really. And at that point, why even bother watching a movie. Let me just clip that off with this - I REALLY wanted to like this movie, the idea of Aquaman was always very cool. But the moment it started I noticed all of these issues and more. Not to mention the entire movie Aquaman didn't really care about the budding war or what humanity was doing to the ocean. He just wanted to live his life. He fights for them, he helps the ocean dwellers, yet he continues to spout the fact that it really isn't his problem and he doesn't care. He kept saying he doesn't care to the point that I didn't care either.
If you cannot make the audience care for the characters, the movie is moot. There is nothing to keep you rooted, keep you going for the movie. Which is quite a long movie by the way.
Of course there has to be a love interest, because movies cannot exist without one apparently. Well, Aquaman's love interest is a pretty powerful ocean-dweller, in fact she comes across as far more powerful than Aquaman 99% of the time. Yet she would do the stereotypical girl moves like - oh she stumbles and falls into his arms like a clumsy damsel in distress. Annoying to say the least especially considering her ability to control water, which Aquaman CANNOT do. I cannot appreciate a character who is wishy-washy. Either she is a damsel in distress or a badass. You can't be both, and she should have just been a badass if you look at her abilities. Her entire demeanor is badass except for a few moments in the movie for it to create... love opportunities. But this movie would've been so much better if they hadn't forced this weird, unnatural love interest between the two of them.
There are also apparently two nemesis or antagonists in this movie, which is odd and not a normal thing in stories for good reason. It leaves the audience uncertain who we are supposed to be against or even the reasoning behind it. First, you have Aquaman's brother King Orm played by Patrick Wilson who is essentially one of the kings of the ocean. He is in charge of the place Aquaman's mother came from. His goal is to retaliate against humanity for trashing the ocean. Another issue, why is he the bad guy for this? And why is Aquaman placed against him for this when his linage is from the ocean?
Then you have Black Manta, which was just, absurd. I now know his character is actually from the original stories, however, his introduction in the movie and his reasoning for having hatred for Aquaman felt extremely forced and illogical. Basically revenge is what was fueling Black Manta's choices. But again, we don't really get to know him well enough to worry about him or worry for Aquaman. The movie felt like an odd jumble of mini stories forced into one cinematic experience that wasn't enjoyable.
The Good: Pretty much the only redeemable quality for this movie would have to be the visual aspects. I will say, it was beautifully rendered. The underwater scenes, the creatures they show, and especially the swarm scene was amazing and probably would've been even more so on a big screen. However. Some of the scenes were extremely similar to visual beauties in James Cameron's "Avatar" so while it was gorgeous to see, it felt as if I had seen some of it before already.
Aquaman - Theme
"Aquaman" is a superhero movie, no doubt about that. I don't think there was any true theme, in fact for any superhero movie. Fight the bad guys, save the girl, etc.
Aquaman - Who Would Watch This?
Young kids who are into superheros would probably love this movie, and anyone who is deeply into the DC comics, or the superheros. Of course, please take all of this with a grain of salt as my thoughts on this movie just come from my experience. I know tons of people who love this movie and that's great.