Aquaman coming from the DC extended universe is definitely better than the loud and messy Justice League. But for my personal taste, this movie is still not something that can put DC back in the game. From templatescript to the kind of set pieces for which DC has got criticized previously,there are a lot of ingredients in James Wan’s making that makes it look like a notso exciting superhero movie with very less elements of uniqueness. With the latter half of the film picking up some light and development, Aquaman is definitely passable, but not necessarily a game changer.

So, this one is basically an origin story. Like how we have seen in the trailer, Arthur was born to Queen Atlanna of Atlantis and Thomas Curry. And after a point, Atlanna had to return to Atlantis as she knew her presence could bring danger to her husband and son. The movie Aquaman is basically about Arthur’s visit to his mother’s world under the sea in a particular scenario where his intervening was necessary to avoid the clashbetween the surface world and the underwater world.

I kind of hated the spoon feeding nature of the movie. Even though we were familiar with the whole Superman story, Man of Steel was an origin story that used the cinematic possibility to present an idea in an engaging way. Even DC’s best in the lot (IMO) wonder woman worked because of the way the plot got scripted. Here DC is way too straightforward. Maybe the success of a few superhero movies with less plot and more humor made them think like that. Until Italy set pieces started happening on screen, the movie is lingering too much on the typical superhero stuff. The latter half of the movie has some of the things like pop culture references and mildly political statements etc., but still, the movie is equally balanced by predictable and familiar story arcs.

Jason Momoa with that physique is extremely in character and I loved his grace and arrogant swag in portraying the character. Unlike his Justice League appearance as Aquaman, this time he has a wide range of emotions to go through and he looks pretty convincing. Amber Heard as Mera is the quintessential love interest who occasionally becomes the movie’s helpline to have some humor. It was nice to see William Dafoe in a positive shade. Patrick Wilson as Orm is largely monotonous.  Yahya Abdul Mateen is pretty much unused here as Black Manta. Nicole Kidman as Atlanna has the much needed poise.

James Wan has tried to make the movie a visually grand experience. Even there are some minor detailing in certain sequences (like the crowd cheering we see in the trailer) that gives the movie an impression that it doesn’t want to get labeled as a typical run of the mill superhero movie. But I found the plot very weak. And the script just can’t elevate the plot with sequences that will keep you invested in what’s the movie has to offer on a content level. The film lingers too much on Arthur’s initial phase. The dark and large set pieces that don’t bother giving us clarity about editing continuity are there. The antagonists are still a weak point for DC movies as they fail to make an impression. And the mother angle is still not getting the needed emotional depth, even though it is better than the classic “Martha” of the dawn of justice. Visually it is grand and some of the one-on-one action sequences, especially the ones on land looked great.

Aquaman is definitely better than films like Dawn of Justice and Justice League. But on a plot level, the movie is still limited to a usualmovie. The lighter tone makes this James Wan movie a passable pop corn flick.Wonder woman still remains my personal favourite DCEU movie.

Rating: 2.5/5

Final Thoughts

Aquaman is definitely better than films like Dawn of Justice and Justice League. But on a plot level, the movie is still limited to the usual movie.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.