Updated: Jan 24, 2019
From his early days, Arthur Curry aka Aquaman, has long been the butt of a lot of jokes in the DC Universe and from his first appearance, not many took him seriously as a hero. His character has been mocked for what seemed like his feeble demeanour against giants like Superman & Batman, and not to mention being able to talk to fish. Of course as the years passed, Aquaman became more of a powerhouse, worthy of standing alongside the other members of the Justice League in print, and it is this rendition of Aquaman that Jason Momoa truly brought to life in the big screen, both in 2017 action hit Justice League, and even more so in Aquaman’s first solo feature.
The movie follows Arthur after the events of Justice League where he has made a name for himself as “the Aquaman”, fighting off all sorts of ocean related incidents that he happens to come across. The film explores his origins from being the son of the forbidden romance between a human and an Atlantean, learning to use his abilities and gives us an insight to how Aquaman views the world as a man born of two. Throw in a potential war between the land and sea, a reluctant battle for the throne of Atlantis, betrayal, loss, a quest for a lost treasure and you get a film that truly staples Aquaman’s place on the big screen and reinstates your faith in the DCEU formula of movie making.
The fights in the film are some of the most superb fighting sequences one will witness in a superhero movie. James Wan really did the film justice with his methods of camera movement for the battles both on land and in the sea. Well choreographed and exciting to watch, the fights involving Mera, played by Amber Head, are definitely worth watching as they display both Mera’s acrobatic fighting style alongside her use of hydrokenesis (water manipulation).
Watching the underwater scenes doesn’t feel like they’ve just slabbed a green screen behind the actors. You truly feel as if you have been submerged and are viewing the action in water as opposed to a studio. A lot of oceanic lore is also introduced in the film in creature like the fabled Kraken, the creatures of the Mariana Trench and the seven kingdoms of the sea - the underwater world is captivating in its mirroring of the advancements made by the Atlanteans and other ocean dwellers alike while surrounded by the remnants of the old kingdom.
Ocean Master and Black Manta (played by Patrick Wilson and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II respectively) play the villains of the film and while they don’t offer the peril factor of day Steppenwolf or Ares, both contribute brilliantly as opposing forces to Aquaman; reminding him that he isn’t as invincible as he seems. Both characters feed off the pain of loss for which they both blame Arthur for and use that as their driving force against him in order to try and prevail in killing him. The final battle between Ocean Master and Aquaman isn’t a long one but it’s done in such a way that you can’t help but enjoy it.
In all, the film is certainly one to watch again and again, if not for it just being a great film, then to see what the DCEU is capable of with the right direction. Aquaman has certainly exceeded expectations in all areas where many were unsure of its potential success. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens next with him in the next few years as more and more DC content is released on the silver screen.
Timi, The Nerd Council