DAZZLING UNDERWATER ADVENTURE
PLEASE forgive me for I have sinned.
I mean that with all love and affection as I must most sincerely repent of my editorial transgressions.
For you see, I actually liked a DC Comics movie. I know, I know, this is akin to heresy but I thoroughly enjoyed this film adaptation of “Aquaman” starring Jason Momoa in the title role and directed by James Wan (“The Conjuring”) which tells the finny tale (pardon the undersea pun) of young Arthur Curry and his “coming of age” as the King of Atlantis.
Actually, I’m not 100 percent happy with this movie as with the very well done “Wonder Woman.”
“Aquaman” should really have come out prior to the dreadful “Justice League” superhero mash-up, like “Wonder Woman” both were released in 2017, because the backstory of this water breathing quasi-human is so very interesting and would have been easily segue into the superhero team-up story line much better if it had come out first and THEN “Justice League.”
As you might imagine, “Aquaman” is an origin story which begins with the mating of a beautiful undersea queen (Nicole Kidman) and a lighthouse keeper/commoner, Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison) who discovers the damsel marooned on the sandy shores near his lighthouse.
He brings her inside, nurses her back to health and they instantly bond, producing a hybrid child… a son who is destined to be the ruler of the seven seas.
We see the young Arthur first at age nine (Kaan Guldur) who travels on a class outing to a local aquarium and just like that, learns to communicate with all of the fish trapped inside the plastic prison they inhabit.
Fast forward four years and we again see Arthur, now 13 (Otis Dhanji) who is just starting to catch on that he is much more than just a young lad with lightning fast reflexes.
Throughout his youth and adult years, Arthur knows there is something not quite right as he is faster than American Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps (who tallied 28 medals) and can both breathe and communicate underwater.
It’s only a matter of time before Arthur connects with flaming red-headed Mera (Amber Heard) of whom we first saw in “Justice League.”
She is also a hybrid who brings Arthur down to the modern-day Atlantis.
Oh, and Mere’s specialty?
She can create “hard water” undersea objects ala “Green Lantern.”
Pretty cool, actually.
Both go on a lengthy journey in the middle of the desert to find what is left of the lost city of Atlantis which in turn puts them on a collision course to find the “Trident of Neptune” which will give the bearer untold super powers over the inhabitants of the deep.
“Aquaman” is bright and cheery with many of the land-side battles taking place in broad daylight, including a very cool chase scene with the antagonist “Black Manta” (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) hot on the heels of this dynamic duo, shooting ray beams out from his “manta” headset.
Eventually there is a massive “set” scene—I have no idea what you would call it being a thousand feet deep in the ocean—which pits the forces of Orm (Patrick Wilson) who goes by the nom de plume of “Ocean Master” and eventually mano a mano against Arthur for undersea supremacy.
There are no direct references to Batman, Superman or the rest of the Justice League and I was hard pressed to figure out of this movie came right after the “League” film or just before.
“Aquaman” being a completely stand-alone superhero action flick, Wan does a very good job in keep the lens directly on Momoa and his undersea quest and not messing around with the DC Extended Universe timeline or its myriad of superheroes.
Except this one time.
In “Man of Steel” when Superman finally figures out he can fly, he shoots straight up and we see him in a wide angle shot going completely vertical as he breaks the sound barrier.
In “Aquaman,” Momoa’s Arthur Curry does likewise, eventually donning the classic and atomically correct, form-fitting gold and green costume.
From the bottom of the ocean, Arthur shoots straight up, zooming through the water like a cruise missile.
Both scenes are identical and the reference between the two would be impossible for any comic-book fanboy to miss.
”Aquaman” is a hoot.
It’s right up there with the best that Marvel Studios has done.
Think “Spider-Man 2” (2004) quality with Dr. Octopus but just slightly below this year’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Yes, bless me for I have sinned as “Aquaman” has brought redemption to the folks at Warner Bros.
Everyone involved with “Aquaman” deserves a rousing BRAVO for a great story, spot on acting, a handsome as spit leading man with the best
special effects money can buy.
Would someone please give me an Amen?
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