James Wan’s Aquaman is a flawed yet inventive film that marks a pleasant surprise for the franchise.
The film centers around Arthur Curry, the heir to the throne of Atlantis, who, alongside Mera, must take down his half-brother Orm before he attacks the surface world.
Perhaps what’s most incredible about this film are its striking visuals. Despite its obvious use of CGI in almost every frame of it, the film is never hurt by this, and instead, thanks to Wan’s clear skill, immerses you into the world like almost no other superhero film out there. It’s a refreshing take on an otherwise over-saturated genre, even for a fan like me. It actually reminded me of a similar moviegoing experience: Avatar. They both have the benefit of having jaw-dropping visuals aided by a pro filmmaker, totally immersing you into the world each film constructs beautifully. However, both suffer from a similar problem: a familiar story that isn’t helped by their rather mediocre script.
Written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beal, the screenplay is the most obvious flaw for the film. Its constant on-the-nose and cringey dialogue is reminiscent of the worst of the Fast & Furious films, another franchise Wan also lent his hand on. It also fails to have a functioning pace, especially once the second act gets going, as some events seem to be almost glossed-over with not much explanation other than probably trying to cut the runtime. However, it has to be commended that Wan is able to mostly overcome it with his approach at the story, never taking itself too seriously.
Jason Momoa is fabulous as the title character, bringing much-needed charisma to the character. His constant fun presence is appreciated and keeps you invested in the main storyline throughout. Amber Heard is also quite great as Mera, as is the rest of the stellar cast, with notable highlights being Nicole Kidman and Patrick Wilson as Arthur’s mom and half-brother, respectively.
In conclusion, Aquaman offers a different take on the DC character and is a fresh addition to the DC franchise, thanks to incredible direction by James Wan and a stellar charismatic cast, despite some obvious script problems.
Aquaman will be playing in theatres starting on December 21st in the United States.