Directed by James Wan
Starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, and Nicole Kidman
Who would have thought that we’d live in a world where we get a multi-billion dollar Aquaman movie? Long mocked for his best known superpower — the ability to communicate telepathically with sea life (i.e. talk to fish) — they’ve been working over the years to identify him as a brawler, and lean into the fantasy elements of undersea kingdoms. He’s been re-defined as a warrior king. And after being introduced to the public at large with a great role in Justice League, it was time for Aquaman to be introduced to the public at large. Would they buy it?
There’s trouble a’ brewin’ under the sea. Orm, the current King of Atlantis, is tired of the oceans being abused by the surface world. He seeks to unite the seven undersea kingdoms and declare war on the surface world. All he needs is the allegiance of four kingdoms to be declared Ocean Master. But, Orm’s vizier Vulko and betrothed, the princess Mera, have a problem with this. Their plan is to get Orm’s half brother, the half-Atlantean/half-surface dweller Arthur Curry, to challenge the throne. Arthur, though, wants none of it, having turned his back on his Atlantian heritage a long time ago. But Arthur soon sees the threat that Orm holds to the entire world, and is forced to go along with it. He’ll need help, though, and soon Arthur and Mera are on a quest to find the fabled Trident of Atlan, the first ruler of Atlantis. Will Arthur and Mera find the trident? Will Arthur be able to claim the throne and stop a war?
What I Liked
Man, this film is lavish. Talk about your world-building, as we’re treated to some truly fantastic designs for undersea kingdoms. And then we have armies of armored sharks and seahorses…it’s just bonkers. And one thing I left out of my plot description is that the Aquaman villain Black Manta gets a pretty meaty subplot that lays out his origin story. And, again, Momoa is great as Aquaman, building what we saw on Justice League and is once again as charming as ever. Amber Heard is also great as Mera. It’s just great.
What I Didn’t Like
Probably just a little too long, as I found myself glancing at my watch.
Holy moly. Who would have thought that Aquaman would give us our next great fantasy epic? A fun time at the movies, to be sure.