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Sunday, 23 December 2018

DC Finds Its True King In James Wan's Aquaman

There have been a lot of great DC films over the last few decades. Donnor's Superman. Nolan's The Dark Knight. Jenkins' Wonder Woman. But, there has never been one quite like Aquaman.

James Wan's first foray into the DC Universe is a surreal and stunning spectacle that dives headlong into the mythology of this beloved world and opens it up to a whole new level. While we've become familiar with such iconic locations as Metropolis and Gotham over the years, audiences have never experienced the underwater realm of Atlantis on the big screen before - and the end result is simply stupendous!

Taking place shortly after the events of Zack Snyder's critically derided Justice League, Aquaman follows Jason Moma's titular hero on a quest to stop his power hungry brother from starting a war with the surface world. To do this, he'll need to travel the globe to retrieve a legendary artifact, and assume the mantle of king.

Filled to the brim with vivacious visuals, Aquaman offers up a world where sci-fi and fantasy converge in a near perfect amalgam that is certain to make fans squeal with unabashed delight! Playing out like the bizarre lovechild of Star Wars and Romancing The Stone, this one is the most unabashedly DC Comics-embracing movie to ever see the light of day.

And, it works on every possible level!

Interestingly enough, there are so many ingredients to this film that you'd half expect it to capsize from the shear scale of it all, but this is simply not the case. Credit with this lies squarely with director James Wan, who perfectly balances every little bit of this film, keeping things afloat from beginning to end and presenting something that is more palatable than overwhelming.

Jason Momoa once again perfectly embodies the very essence of the film's titular hero, balancing the numerous aspects of the character's personality, heart and physicality with relative ease and fluidity. We loved watching him take the lead in his own solo film, and feel very strongly that we need to see more of Arthur Curry in a leadership role as the DC Films Universe continues to grow and expand. However, Momoa isn't an exception here. The supporting cast also deserves an equal amount of praise for their work bringing this underwater world to life for the first time.

Amber Heard is one seriously sultry siren in the role of Mera, and her chemistry with Momoa on screen is some of the best we've come to see in a comic book film such as this. Like the film's lead, Heard pulls off the many aspects of her role with ease, and we're more than a little eager to watch the couple's relationship grow stronger along with the future of the DC Universe.

Patrick Wilson's Orm is a by the books Shakespearian level villain that does his comic book counterpart proud! His oftentimes over the top regalness actually comes across more as genuine commitment to the part, and there really is no cooler scene as when he finally armors up under the guise of the Ocean Master - if you're a comic book fan, you're going to flip out!

At the same time, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II brings some serious chops to the role of the villainous Black Manta - a vengeful pirate that looks as though he was ripped right out of the pages of DC Comics! Sadly, he's not in the film for as long as we would have liked, but when you come to realize that the film's main conflict actually centers around Arthur and Orm and the battle for Atlantis, it's easier to let that fact go. We've no doubt that the character's vendetta with Arthur will be further explored down the road, however we sincerely hope Black Manta gets a little more time in the spotlight the next time he crosses our path! Wherever and whenever that is.

The remaining cast members, including Willem Dafoe as Atlantean advisor Vulko; Nicole Kidman as the literal fish out of water Queen Atlanna; and the always solid Temerua Morrison as Arthur's loveable father Thomas, are all at the top of their game, bringing as much commitment and gravitas as the film's stars. The end result is a cast that brings the fascinating world of Aquaman to life in a big, believable way - a crucial piece of the puzzle that takes one of DC's most derided heroes and turns everything you know about him and his world on his head!

James Wan has hit the ground running, expanding the cinematic side of the DC Universe in a very big and exciting way! There is so much world building going on here, and Wan pulls it all off with ease, impressive visuals and a final product that is sure to have people taking notice!

Sure, it doesn't escape some small pacing issues, and there's no denying that some of the dialogue is downright cheesy, but Aquaman embraces these flaws with over the top bravado to give fans one of the best DC Comics adaptations to ever grace the big screen! We're quite eager to see how the many concepts present here will be expanded upon in the future, and sincerely hope James Wan will be the man destined to take us on that journey.

In short, remember that scene from The Big Bang Theory where the guys were discussing how much Aquaman sucked? Well, no one will be able to say such things after watching this tantalizing underwater spectacle!

It's big. It's loud. It's fun. It's packed full of strikingly beautiful imagery, exotic locations and a shocking array of fascinating creatures and concepts! And, most importantly, this is a big time win for both Warner Bros. and the DC Cinematic Universe.

We've no doubt this one will find its way toward $1-Billion worldwide.

Overall: "DC's True King! Aquaman is a surreal and stunning spectacle that is certain to have fans cheering!"

Starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Temerua Morrison and Dolph Lundgren, Aquaman is in theaters now!

Until next time, Infinite Earths fans.

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