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Review: Aquaman (Bumbray)

Aquaman (Bumbray)
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PLOT: When Orm (Patrick Wilson), the newly crowned ruler of Atlantis, declares war on dry land, Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) aka Aquaman must fulfill his destiny and take his place as the King of Atlantis.

REVIEW: I’ll admit that I was among the less optimistic movie-goers that figured there was no way AQUAMAN could really add up to much of a movie. I like Jason Momoa, but the character’s part in JUSTICE LEAGUE didn’t really give me any reason to believe the character was worth a $150 million plus spin-off, but luckily director James Wan clearly has just the right take on the material to make it a truly fun action extravaganza.

Much has been made about how Wan ditches the dark tone of the DCU and opts for a colorful, lighthearted adventure more in the vein of ROMANCING THE STONE than other movies of its ilk. The fact is, AQUAMAN doesn’t need to be dark and brooding, and the light-hearted vibe adds up to a sure-fire Christmas hit that serves as a great introduction to a couple of characters that should be around for a long time.

One thing they really ace here is the chemistry between Momoa and co-star Amber Heard. Mera is a heroine in her own right and the dynamic is interesting. While under the sea, Mera is shown to be the more powerful warrior, having a mastery of the environment, only for the positions to swap once the hit land – so they both get the opportunity to be each other’s foil. I’m also a big fan of legit romance in my action-adventure films and here it’s a major component rather than just window dressing. You buy that they’re attracted to each other and gradually falling in love, and by the time it ends you’re fully invested.

The supporting cast is similarly good, with the big standout being Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, a slick modern-day pirate with an understandable grudge against our hero. Clearly, DC is investing big time in the character, and watching him here it’s not hard to imagine Mateen becoming a big time star. Nicole Kidman also seems to be having a blast as Atlanna, Curry’s mom, and it’s so much fun to see her dive into action heroine mode (couple with DESTROYER she’s having an awesome month). I’m usually not a fan of big time critical darlings playing parts in super hero movies as it always feels like they’re phoning it in, but one has to give Kidman and Willem Dafoe credit. Both are fully committed and seem to be having a blast. Temuera Morrison also has a lot of charm as Curry’s lighthouse keeper dad, while Dolph Lundgren looks to be having the time of his life as Mera’s father Nerus. The comeback continues!

My only gripe is with Patrick Wilson. I really like him as an actor, but Orm kinda needed to be larger-than-life, which is what the other actors all are. Wilson is too low-key and not a convincing threat for the gigantic Momoa. A major physical presence was needed in the part – similar to how Michael B. Jordan worked in BLACK PANTHER.

Otherwise though, AQUAMAN is a pretty perfect blockbuster concoction. It’s silly at times but everything is so much fun you won’t care. Wan also, refreshingly, has made the rare brightly colored action flick, with gorgeous cinematography by Don Burgess. Movies that shoot too dark (i.e SOLO) are my pet peeve, as is the over reliance on orange and teal. AQUAMAN doesn’t do either of those things – another merit that kicks it up a notch in my book. Between BUMBLEBEE, SPIDER-MAN INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE and now this, fans are being particularly well-served this holiday season. Let’s go out and make sure they get the support they deserve.

Source: JoBlo.com

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