Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Aquaman (2018)

I love superhero flicks but usually, I'm more excited about MCU than DCEU as the latter often turn out to be not so good while the first, while pretty much all identical, are entertaining. It's different with Aquaman. I was over-the-top excited about it —entirely because of Jason Momoa at first; also because of James Wan after watching some of his horror flicks. 

The story follows Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), the son of a lighthouse keeper, Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison), and the princess of Atlantis, Atlanna (Nicole Kidman). When he learns that his half-brother, Orm Marius (Patrick Wilson), seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms to declare war to the surface world, Arthur must step forward and fulfil his destiny of becoming king.

The plot is rather thin and predictable —aren’t most of superhero origin stories, though?—, it doesn’t always make sense —actually, it’s straight stupid at times, like when Arthur lifts a church’s wall to free a man and then the guy runs away like nothing had happened—, it isn’t always consistent with the events of the other DCEU movies and some things are left unexplained —what’s the story behind Arthur’s tattoos?— and yet it manages to be an engaging and compelling story that, unlike most if not all superhero flicks, addresses, even if in a shallow way —it’s still a superhero movie—, a real-life issue, ocean pollution.

Unlike the story, which is very easy to follow, the characters can be a little confusing at times as they are poorly introduced and it isn't always easy to understand what's the connection between them, especially if you are not familiar with the Aquaman comic books. Also, they feel rushed and because of it, I didn't care much about the romance between Arthur and Mera as there isn't much of an emotional connection between them. The main villain, however, Arthur's half-brother, is such a good one as he is moved by actual motives—he blames Arthur for their death of their mother and wants to declare war to humans because they are destroying his home, the oceans.

The cast really elevates the film. Because of Jason Momoa who brings to the character tons of charisma, Arthur is a very compelling and likeable lead. He is not a guy to make fun of which often happens in pop culture; he is strong and brave and he can beautifully pull off a cocky attitude while still remaining very likeable, a character you care about and root for. Nicole Kidman does a wonderful job as Atlanna and her serious approach to the character, along with her chemistry with Momoa, delivers the a sweet, heartwarming and kind of moving moment. Patrick Wilson does a nice job as the entitled King Orm and makes it even harder to root against him. Amber Heard, on the other hand, gives a pretty weak performance as Mera.

Warner Bros. Pictures
It's visually though that Aquaman truly blew me away. The cinematography is gorgeous —some underwater shots are breathtakingly beautiful—, the special effects are solid —the underwater hair looks goddamn awful though— and the editing is top notch. The visuals don't lose a beat not even when it comes to the action, which is always exciting and entertaining. The soundtrack is also pretty beautiful and, fight me, I dare you, Pitbull's Ocean to Ocean is great.

Sure, it's not perfect but it's easily the best, funnier and most entertaining superhero flick of 2018. Again, fight me, I dare you.

10 comments :

  1. Ecco, la tua recensione più che positiva mette definitivamente in crisi la mia convinzione (pregiudizio) su questo film che, lo ammetto, non è che mi ispirasse particolarmente. Ti dirò poi se andrò a vederlo ;)
    PS: buon 2019!

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    1. Suppongo che non sei andata dato che la recensione non l'ho vista. Comunque buon anno anche a te! Anche se un po' in ritardo 😅

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  2. I totally agree with you and I won't dare to challenge you! Awesome review!

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  3. So glad you liked it! I think the tattoos was just the ancestry/culture kind of thing, they expanded on Jason's own tattoos (on his lower arm). I liked the underwater hair especially that they had to do that completely with CGI. And Kidman was so amazing I cried during two of her scenes :D

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  4. I'll never be able to unsee that church wall scene! I did enjoy the whole movie but moment was just so WTF!

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  5. I do want to see this and I have to admit, I would be voting for the evil guy because he is not completely evil considering his home world is being polluted. I am not surprised by some of the things you say in your great review since it is a superhero movie flick

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    1. You know, if it wasn't for Momoa playing Aquaman, I would have rooted for the villain.

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