Aquaman plays out like any other dumb superhero movie, not that far off from the recently released Venom. However, what makes Aquaman special is the lasting sense of adventure it sets upon the audience with its epic visuals and unique action sequences.
After the events of Justice League, Aquaman is seeking to live a quiet life with his father while saving people from time to time. However, when the throne of the Atlantean empire is at stake, and his half-brother wants to wage war on the humans up top, Aquaman reluctantly has to claim his right as king and save the world from going into complete chaos.
Aquaman was one of my favorite characters introduced in Justice League. Jason Momoa was a refreshingly badass take on the historically scoffed at superhero. Now in his own movie, Momoa is still as good and is given more time to shine. The same way Gal Gadot carved herself out as the modern-day Wonder Woman last year, I believe Momoa is doing the same with Aquaman – he could be the face of the character for years to come. Momoa has both the charisma and look of a superhero. The supporting cast does fine in their respective roles, albeit the occasional cheese. The dialogue can also sometimes be silly, but all is forgiven considering the several spectacular underwater fights that ensue.
Director James Wan, known for horror films Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring, tests his directorial skillset in less scary waters and mostly succeeds. He brings his signature visual flare to Aquaman with vivid Atlantean cities and battles of epic proportions. His film is long, nearly 2 ½ hours, but Wan is able to keep the film from ever growing dull. The story of Aquaman may be a little overstuffed, but it is always going in an interesting direction; Wan does not allow the script material to overwhelm him, and always seems to be in control. Where Aquaman could have felt bloated and convoluted, it finds its footing and ends on a resolved, satisfying note.
The film isn’t perfect, but it’s no rotten fish either. Aquaman may be the best superhero film of 2018 (suck it Infinity War).