Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Aquaman

So, that was interesting. They really decided to go all out with DC’s lamest superhero, didn’t they? It was visually arresting in moments, like the introduction of Atlantis and going into the trench, and did have its moments of fun. But it was also a wet mess.

First lets get the dialogue out of the way (I have a feeling this phrase was also uttered by the screenwriters at some point). I don’t know if they were going for cheesy and melodramatic, but that’s what we get and it doesn’t work. Not to mention the humour beats mostly flounder. Most of this humour is dragged from the quippy relationship between Arthur and Mara, however they just met each other and so this riposte-based relationship they suddenly have seems entirely unearned, so the quips fall flat.

Unearned also seems to be the word of the day for the plot as well. The king of Atlantis wants to declare war on the surface. For some reason. Also, who else snickered when he dramatically announced he wants to be called “ocean master”? And then there is the familiar plot with the mom, which could be seen a league away and which we just experienced in Antman and the Wasp (and How to Train your Dragon earlier).

As far as the action scenes, since this is a superhero movie, there were some fun stuff, especially the chase in the Italian town. But honestly, most of the action was just punching and swinging tridents around. There was also some sort of weird visual aspect to it, almost like a higher frame rate was added into these scenes, which I found very distracting. There’s also an issue with the fact that Aquaman is basically invincible which lowers the stakes so much the action becomes less interesting, as seen in the submarine fight.

A lot of people ended up being surprised by Aquaman and liking it a lot. I understand why, as it really goes all out in its wackiness. With so much mediocrity in blockbusters these days, a movie which isn’t afraid to have people riding sharks and giant seahorses, or a giant kraken monster show up in the final shot, or people hiding in whales, can seem like a relief. There are some bold decisions that are to be commended.

However, just because something is trying to be different and taking risks doesn’t automatically make it a good movie. We seem to be in a place where sometimes a movie’s weaknesses are overlooked because its trying something different, and we as an audience are so desperate for that. But maybe we can have something different and solidly well-made? Something not so fishy perhaps.

5/10

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