Take care of the ocean. Or else.
Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) has lived his whole life knowing that he’s served a greater-purpose in this world and it has to do with the fact that his mother (Nicole Kidman), was the Queen of Atlantis, the undersea nation where some of the most advanced species roam and take care of the sea. However, Arthur hasn’t really wanted much to do with that world and everything else it entails; mostly, he’s perfectly fine with stopping baddies, one kick-ass beat-down at a time. But now, he may have to finally step in and claim his throne as the true ruler of Atlantis, especially when his brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), begins to get power-hungry and take over the throne that’s not rightfully his. Now, along with Mera (Amber Heard), Orm’s soon-to-be-wife/Queen, Arthur will have to track down the special trident to rule all tridents and stop his evil brother from taking over Atlantis once and for all.
And oh yeah, he’ll also crack some jokes every once and awhile too, in hopes of reminding us that, “Hey, this is DC and they can have fun too, OKAY?!?”
With DC being in such an unfortunately vulnerable state where two of their main superheros are pretty much gone, their movies aren’t doing all that great (both critically and financially), and the movies that are supposed to be made, are being put on-hold or being made as something else (I’m talking about all things Joker-related, by the way), it’s hard to really expect them to be firing on all cylinders. Granted, they should be, but considering the long and winding road they’ve had to take here, it’s fine enough just to see them give us something that’s serviceable, above everything else.
Which is what Aquaman is, although I’m worried that I may underselling it.
For one, Aquaman is a crazy movie where there is so much going on, with so many crazy ideas, bright lights, shiny things, loud noises, weird characters, colors, shapes, sizes, and epic-proportions of violence and grandeur happening, it’s hard to ever be bored by it. There is an idea that you can and will eventually get numb to the overbearing nature of it all, but considering what DC has been putting out, Aquaman turns out to be a breath-of-fresh-air and small, but effective sigh-of-relief.
And it’s no Wonder Woman for sure, but then again, it’s really hard to duplicate all that that movie did and achieved. Aquaman, on the other hand, isn’t that kind of movie and isn’t trying to be; director James Wan clearly seems to be going for a much more campy, almost B-movie tone in that things aren’t always taken seriously and even when they are, there’s still some form of tongue-in-cheek where it’s just all a joke anyway. Some may get upset by this, but Marvel’s been doing this for the past decade now and if there’s any DC product that’s going to not take itself too seriously, it’s Aquaman.
Hell, it even features a fish, voiced by Julie Andews! Once you’ve gone that far into the realm of the strange, there’s no real turning back!
And that’s why Aquaman, for all the inherent craziness and wackiness, never works more than it should, but sits perfectly firm as being fine and absolutely enjoyable. It’s not going to change the DC universe, but it’s a step in the right direction that shows that as long as you make fun and entertaining movies, that aren’t tonally disjointed and trying way too hard to recreate the magic of Marvel and what they’re doing, then everything will go according to plan. And hey, as long as you keep the charmingly lovely likes of Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, and especially Patrick Wilson, happy, then you can do anything you want.
Beating Marvel at their own game, probably not! But hey, never say never and keep a smile on that damn face!
Consensus: By never taking itself too seriously, Aquaman always remains silly, over-the-top, crazy, and surprisingly enjoyable, even when it seems to be throwing everything at us, including the kitchen-sink, in hopes that we won’t get bored or be reminded of Marvel.
7 / 10
Photos Courtesy of: Warner Bros. Pictures