Aquaman plays out in the same vein as any other dumb superhero movie (I’m looking at you 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 parts introduced in Justice League; it was this badass take on the sometimes scoffed at hero and Jason Momoa perfectly embodied it. And in Aquaman, he is just 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 Aquaman for years. He has both the charisma and look to be a superhero. The rest of the complimentary cast does fine in their roles. Aquaman isn’t without the occasional bit of cheesy acting or dialogue, but all of that is forgiven after another underwater fight concludes.
Director James Wan, known for horror films Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring, tests his directorial skillset in less scary waters and for the most part, succeeds. He brings his signature visual flare to Aquaman with vivid Atlantean cities and battles of epic proportions; in such a long film, nearly 2 ½ hours, Wan is able to keep the film from ever growing dull. The story of Aquaman may be a little overstuffed but 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.
It’s not perfect, but it is no rotten fish either, Aquaman may be the best superhero film of 2018 (suck it Infinity War). 8/10