Aquaman (2018): Film Review
Ever since the creation of DC Studios, the film company has been on an endless rocky road; attempting to make films that match the greatness of Marvel Studios (their rivals), but usually failing to come even close, both critical and box office wise. Besides the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy, and 2017's smash hit Wonder Woman, the studio has hit speed bump after speed bump, not seeming to produce anything good; even films with infinite potential, like Batman vs. Superman or even 2017's Justice League. But, forget everything you know about DC when it comes to Aquaman. The film is unlike anything the studio has done before; and that is both a blessing and a curse. Although it is a significant step above most of the other DC films, Aquaman still struggles to make big waves as it's lengthiness is bloated with too many subplots to handle, ultimately ruining the film in its own way. Set after the events of Justice League, Aquaman tells the origin story of the "fish-man", while pitting him in his greatest challenge yet. When Arthur Curry (Aquaman) finds out that his brother, King Orm, plans to go to war against the "Surface world", he can no longer stay in the shadows, and must confront his half-brother and army; attempting to regain his rightful place in the throne before it is too late. Along with the help of Mera, Arthur must embark on a quest to find a trident that will give him the power over the "Seven seas". As the story unfolds, the film begins to dive deeper into the actual roots and childhood of the superhero, as we learn more than ever before about the man of the sea. The biggest pro that comes with Aquaman is that it is consistently filled with action, from the very start of the film. The action is quite entertaining, and makes the movie much more enjoyable to watch; unlike most other DC films that are riddled with exposition and dialogue. James Wan was the right fit for the film, because it feels fun and fresh, something that most DC movies do not feel; especially in this day and age. Although the film is packed with CGI, it is not too bad, and some of the visual effects are actually beautiful looking, and really impressive. At the same time, a good amount of the CGI is fairly terrible, usually the scenes with big explosions or too much going on. And that right there is what sets the film back so heavily. There is just too much movie, and too many subplots, for the film - and the audience - to handle. The film clocks out at 143 minutes, and is filled with so many subplots, most of which aren't really necessary for the jist of the story, and just way too much for the viewer to handle. I particularly came to issue with the action scenes that took place underwater, as the CGI made everything look the same to the point where it became tiring to even watch the action anymore. If the film would have just gotten rid of those extra moments that did nothing to elevate the film, then it would have been so much better, and more enjoyable overall. But, this way feels bloated, with too much going on too fast. The film isn't bad that's for sure, but it's not great. It signifies a step in the right direction for DC as a whole, but they have a long way to go from here. But, the important thing is that Aquaman seems to realize that it's a silly movie. From scenes with "wine knives", octopus' drum skills, and giant crabs vs. sharks (my personal favourite); the film is so unbearably stupid. But, it recognizes that, and embraces it; using it's stupidity to make the film fun, and a decently good time at the theater, if not entertaining at least. If you're expecting a hard-hitting superhero movie, don't see this film, not at all. But, if you want a break from real world troubles, filled with stupidly fun action and a lot of heart, than you need to see this movie, as soon as humanly possible. For me, Aquaman is pretty bloated and way too long; but really fun, if not much else. And at the end of the day, that's enough for me.