Aquaman Makes a Splash
Before I saw Aquaman, I didn’t expect it to surpass Wonder Woman as the best chapter in the DCEU. I thought it could go one of two ways; it would either be a massive hit or a huge disappointment. Either way, it was my opinion that the future of the DCEU was riding heavily on this one.
I was wrong on my first statement. Aquaman did jump over Wonder Woman as the best film in the DCEU so far. It had action, humor, a different tone from the other films and stayed true to the comics. This origin story tells the tale of how Arthur Curry indeed became Aquaman and takes few liberties with the details.
There were some great moments in this one; the most memorable for me being when Arthur finally appears in his classic orange and green uniform. Hopefully he keeps the look for the rest of his time on the big screen.
And as for Jason Momoa’s performance, he really shines in his chance to expand on his role from Justice League. He pulls off the grit and humor of the begrudging hero in the way you’d envision the transition from the comic pages.
What slides this movie to the top of the DCEU class are the villains. Orm is the best villain the universe has seen, and there’s strong potential for Black Manta to expand his role in the future. I wasn’t crazy about the casting of Ares in Wonder Woman, but they got it right in Aquaman. Patrick Wilson is fantastic as Orm, aka Oceanmaster and Yahya Abdul-Mateen is a believable Black Manta.
The rest of the supporting cast is terrific as well. Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe and Dolph Lundgren help elevate every scene they’re in, and for Heard, that’s most of the movie. She has great chemistry with Momoa and you’ll have a lot of fun watching the interaction between Arthur and Mera.
The visuals and costuming was perfect. I’ve already talked about introducing Aquaman’s classic look, but Black Manta’s costume is top-notch as well. Honestly, it’s one of the best and most accurate portrayals of a supervillain I’ve seen in film.
It’s definitely a different kind of superhero movie in that it takes place almost entirely underwater. Not every director would be able to pull this off, but James Wan is a master filmmaker and proves it once again. There’s no doubt the studio made the right choice by bringing him on board and they should move quick to lock him up to a series of films. After all, Aquaman is now assured a sequel and likely a trilogy, and Wan is the man to see it through.
I can understand if you’re skeptical after the previous installments in the DCEU. I was too. But you need to give this one a chance because Warner Bros and DC Films nail it. If there’s one movie you see this holiday season, it should be Aquaman. For once, perhaps, since the inception of the DCEU, you won’t be disappointed.