Director: James Wan
Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick WilsonFirst thing first; if you are thinking Aquaman is going to be a one man show then you should just hold your thoughts right there because the ladies in the life of this underwater superman almost equally stand a chance of blowing some minds with their commanding performance in the film. Unlike many Marvel superhero films, they are more than just a thing flaunting their curves and body over battle in the movie. Kudos to James Wan, that’s how you portray women in 2018! Jason Momoa reprises his role as Aquaman in DC’s newest standalone superhero film after making brief appearances in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. The film, which serves as the origin story for the king of the underwater civilization, begins as all other heroes’ stories do. It’s basically the same superhero tale being told over and over again but it’s Wan’s splendid vision of a world underwater that makes Aquaman one hell of a ride.
A unitard-clad metahuman (Nicole Kidman) is found unconscious by a lighthouse keeper Tom Curry who is living in isolation on an unknown beach for years. The next morning Curry learns that the lady is Atlanna, Queen of Atlantis but only if he knew what on earth that place was. She tells him that she is on the run from an arranged marriage and the next thing we see on the screen— Curry kissing the Queen. Needless to say, they fall in love. Soon, Atlanna gives birth to their child whom they name Arthur. This is how you meet Aquaman.
However, little does Atlanna know that this is the calm before the storm. Her happy family of three gets attacked by a bunch of intruders from Atlantis who have come to bring their Queen back. In order to protect her son and husband, Atlanna leaves the surface, telling Tom that only their son could unite the two worlds of land and sea. After that no one really knows what happens to her.
Arthur is now an awkward teen discovering his powers and realising that he can survive both on land and in underwater environment and even control all sea life. However, he gets stuck between these two worlds as he is unwanted by both sides. Later he is told that he has a half-brother named Orm (Patrick Wilson) in Atlantis who is about to declare a war upon the surface world and that only he could stop him.There are multiple scenes that stand out in Wan’s Aquaman. One such is when a young Arthur Curry subsides the anger of a monstrous shark which almost attacked his classmate for bullying their would-be king. The particular sequence in the film gives sufficient hint to the audience as to what the rest of the film is capable of offering. Love angle abounds in superhero films, and Aquaman is no exception. But Wan’s depiction of it is far different from what we have been watching. Amber Heard’s Mera, an Atlantean warrior, is not someone who would sit quietly while Aquaman beats their enemies down. She is nearly in every single frame fighting shoulder to shoulder with Momoa. Amber paints a gripping portrayal of Mera on screen and is without a doubt the backbone of the film.
Moreover, the rigid dichotomy between Mera and Aquaman’s personality is what makes their chemistry more interesting and attention-grabbing. While Mera is focused and disciplined, Momoa’s Aquaman is someone who is rather more concerned about his happy hours than rescuing people. He is carefree, confused and unaware. But thanks to Mera who is always there to guide her man and steer him in the right direction.
Momoa as Aquaman lives up to the expectations and how! With his wicked humour and blazing light green eyes, he is literally oozing charm on screen. Never for once his Khal Drogo’s image overpowers his character of Aquaman in the film. The script unnecessarily wants him to be Marvel’s Deadpool in a few scenes but thank god Momoa fins his way around constraints.With Aquaman, DC has established that standalone films are its strength and it should probably only focus on them, especially considering the box office fate of its last crossover Justice League. The best part about its latest release is that like Wonder Woman, this film too is propelled by the power of inclusivity and oneness and tells people how these superheroes are just like the rest of us— flawed and often ruled by selfish goals. And, Momoa truly deserves all the love to be successfully able to communicate it through his earnest performance.
A special mention to film’s creative effects supervisors Charles Gibson and Kelvin McIlwain whose sincere efforts make Atlantis look nothing short of gorgeous—particularly in battle scenes. Their work offers some breathtaking visuals in the film.
However, there are definitely some visible flaws in the film. The second half is a bit stretched and could have been easily cut short. There are also several puns which not just only make the film overwhelmingly unfunny but repetitive as well.Having said that, Jason Momoa's Aquaman will definitely make you laugh, warm your heart, and ultimately fill you with hope.
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