As a kid, you probably hated those tests where wrong answers canceled out right ones. Well, as an adult you will probably not be a huge fan of a film whose rights are all canceled out by its ridiculous wrongs.
Aquaman follows the story of Arthur (Jason Momoa), aka Aquaman, son of Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) and lighthouse keeper Tom (Temuera Morrison). After the execution of his mother for loving a man from the surface, Arthur chooses to stay away from Atlantis, and live out his days on the surface, where he occasionally saves innocent people from pirates. Soon enough, war comes to Arthur’s doorstep, when his half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) devises a plan to take control of all the underwater kingdoms. Additionally, Orm declares war against the entirety of the human race. In order to defeat his half-brother, and save both worlds from destruction, Arthur has to follow clues to Atlantis’ lost trident and face the challenge that will test whether or not he is worthy of being Atlantis’ one true king.
The plot starts with Aquaman’s backstory and then moves to his heroic adventures. Less than thirty minutes into the 130-minute feature, the film begins to dissect Atlantis’ politics. From there, the film moves to Aquaman’s quest for the trident, all to set up for the ultimate fight. That being said, the long-awaited battle takes place only during the film’s last ten minutes.
Aquaman attempts to delve into the mythology of Atlantis, but instead the film disappoints fans of the mythical city by filling it with storm trooper-like troops and laser beam guns. Moreover, the film just stuffs in sloppy and inauthentic elements to a modern distorted version of Atlantis.
Another main issue was the film’s extreme reliance on dramatic music and slow-motion. For example, in a scene where Orm exposes his plan to become Ocean Master, there is an actual “pum pum puuuuuum” after he announces the title. If that was not enough, there is a slow motion shot every 10 minutes, if not less, to the point where the film becomes almost comical.
Speaking of comedy, the parts in the film that are meant to be funny are actually executed well, and provide a necessary break from the aforementioned overly dramatic elements. As per the film’s numerous fight scenes, they were pretty impressive and captivating especially with the advanced graphic work on Atlantis, and the weapons used.
As for the acting, Jason Momoa did more with what he was given than many actors would be able to do. Indeed, Momoa was able to convey a witty and badass character, with as much charisma and persuasion as possible, especially given the film’s poor screenplay. Patrick Wilson made for a convincing villain, but not one that is particularly memorable. Nicole Kidman had a small role and was able convey her character’s personality. Kidman, however, fell short on conveying emotions.
The fights are cool, the jokes are funny, and the graphics are impressive but, the plot is a mess, the myth of Atlantis is messed up and most of the scenes are way too dramatic. You decide.