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Aquaman

Aquaman DC

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#1 Virgil Vox

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 07:32 PM

Aquaman is an extremely enjoyable movie that embraces its comic book roots and presents a fast paced action/adventure story. It won't get the critical acclaim movies like Wonder Woman, The Dark Knight, or Captain America: Winter Soldier received but it is the fun big blockbuster that DC needs right now to inspire confidence in its movie universe.

The story takes place probably just a few months after Justice League. Arthur has become a famous hero dubbed Aquaman and is trying to embrace the more heroic side, instead of hiding from the world. Unbeknownst to him, his younger brother Orm, king of Atlantis, is trying to create an alliance of the undersea kingdoms to wage war against the surface. Mera wants to put a stop to this, so she convinces Arthur to go on a quest for the trident of King Atlan, which would prove beyond a doubt that he is the true king of Atlantis.

I was surprised by how much this movie fit in. It almost felt like the creators worried about getting a sequel so they put as much cool stuff and world building and characters as they could just in case this was the only Aquaman movie. Not only do we see Atlantis, but several of the other undersea kingdoms are featured like Xebel, the Fishermen, and the Trench. There are two villains, one being Orm, aka Ocean Master, and the other Black Manta.

I have to say that Orm and Black Manta were effective villains. Orm has a genuine reason for wanting to go to war with the surface: pollution. The surface dwellers have been polluting the oceans for centuries and it is getting worse. At first Atlantis simply believed the surface dwellers would kill themselves off but now they are afraid that the oceans will die first. Orm also wants power and is kind of a megalomaniac but there is nuance to his character.

Black Manta starts out as a villain but Aquaman makes it personal. Manta and his father are pirates using a stolen, highly advanced Navy sub to attack ships and submarines. They are attacking a Russian submarine when Aquaman comes to the rescue. Manta's father dies, and he blames Aquaman. The hero does bear some culpability. Manta vows revenge, and gets his chance with help from Orm. Manta is more of a secondary villain here, though he does get a great fight against Aquaman. It feels like they are setting him up to be the big bad of the sequel.

Aquaman is more or less like he was in Justice League. He has that hard rock persona and likes to crack wise and never show emotion. He does get some back story here which is greatly appreciated. It is spread throughout the movie similar to how it was in Man of Steel. He doesn't truly feel accepted by either the surface or the ocean and he really doesn't want to rule Atlantis, even if they wanted him.

Mera has a great role as well. She is in most of the movie and is just as much a hero as Aquaman. She gets plenty of moments to shine and show what she can do. She could probably headline her own movie.

This movie has plenty of action and it is all well choreographed and amazing to behold. The fights are brutal and show just how strong people that live in the depths of the ocean can be. The final battle with the armies of Atlantis is a spectacle that shouldn't be missed. Truly amazing.

The ocean kingdoms are spectacular. Atlantis is fully realized and looks beautiful. The movie really plays up the setting because it is unique to superhero movies and most movies in general.

The world building is rushed. They cram so much in that it is hard to keep track of if you're not versed in Aquaman lore. A lot of the back story comes from the New 52/Rebirth version of the character.

I've seen some sites report that Aquaman signals the end for DC's movie universe but I don't think that it does. Granted, it doesn't name drop the Justice League or refer back to all the other movies but it doesn't act like they don't exist either. Mera specifically mentions Aquaman helping to save the world from Steppenwolf. He is famous because of those events. Also, there are some subtle character beats that show how Aquaman is changing from the loner he was in JL to the more friendly and open hero he is here.

Aquaman is a fun movie that included just about everything I wanted as an Aquaman fanboy. It isn't the best superhero movie ever made but it had me leaving the theater with a smile on my face and a promise to watch it in theaters again. Can't ask for more than that.
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#2 G-man

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 08:47 PM

Agreed.

However, there are echoes of Black Panther resonating in the picture, which critics have already noted.  That said, the movie was doing its own thing.

If we add this to Man of Steel, and Wonder Woman, these three films solidly establish the fantastical nature that is the DC universe.  Personally, I'm opting to ignore the rest of the DCEU and am hoping that they'll build it out from these films (albeit, with the loss of Cavell as Superman, I might be asking for too much).  Pity the next film is SHAZAM ...

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#3 gsmonks

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 02:20 PM

Jason Momoa must have a good agent! He's getting lots of work and having lots of fun.

Like Brendan Fraser he's hugely popular with kids. Can't help but wonder if that liking is reciprocated?
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#4 gsmonks

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 02:22 PM

I just got told. I guess he is.

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#5 Virgil Vox

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 10:44 AM

View PostG-man, on 27 December 2018 - 08:47 PM, said:

Agreed.

However, there are echoes of Black Panther resonating in the picture, which critics have already noted.  That said, the movie was doing its own thing.

If we add this to Man of Steel, and Wonder Woman, these three films solidly establish the fantastical nature that is the DC universe.  Personally, I'm opting to ignore the rest of the DCEU and am hoping that they'll build it out from these films (albeit, with the loss of Cavell as Superman, I might be asking for too much).  Pity the next film is SHAZAM ...

/s/

Gloriosus
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I really hope we haven't lost Cavill as Superman. He was great in the role and Justice League showed what he could do when allowed to be a happy Man of Steel.

I am looking forward to SHAZAM. I liked the character when I was a kid and the trailers have been fun. Of course trailers can be misleading. Still, I'm hoping with Aquaman, Shazam, and Wonder Woman 1984 that DC is finally on the right track and will start producing quality movies. I don't even care if we get a big connected universe like the MCU. I just want to see my favorite heroes on the big screen.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman



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