Friday, December 28, 2018


★★★★½ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

The DC Extended Universe has been lagging behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, failing to consistently make good films. Most of the films have ranged from mediocre to bad. There has only been one good film in the DCEU so far: Wonder Woman, & that didn't come without some flaws.

Aquaman is a bit short of perfect, but it's definitely a step in the right direction for the DCEU. The film follows Arthur Curry, AKA Aquaman (played by Jason Momoa), a half-human, half-Atlantean, & 100% swashbuckling superhero with a lot of strength & skill & the ability to communicate with marine life. His mother, Atlanna, Queen of Atlantis (played by Nicole Kidman), was forced to return to Atlantis many years prior, leaving Arthur & her husband, Thomas (played by Temuera Morrison) behind, & entrusting Atlantean advisor Nuidis Vulko (played by Willem Dafoe) to train Arthur to become a warrior.

Arthur defeats a group of pirates hijacking a Russian naval ship; however, David Kane, AKA Black Mamba (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), one of the main pirates, vows revenger against Arthur after his father, Jesse (played by Michael Beach) dies in the confrontation. Soon after, David goes to Atlantis & uses the attack to persuade Orm Marius, King of Atlantis (played by Patrick Wilson) to declare war against the surface world, to which Orm agrees. Nereus, King of Xebel (played by Dolph Lundgren) supports Orm's decision to declare war; however, his daughter, Mera (played by Amber Heard), is against the decision, so she heads to the surface world to persaude Arthur to fight Orm & become the King of Atlantis. Although Arthur declines at first, knowing he is considered a half-breed by the Atlanteans, he eventually agrees to fight.

When Arthur & Mera get to Atlantis, they are met by Vulko, who gives Arthur an important instruction: find the Trident of Atlan, the most powerful trident which once belonged to the first ruler of Atlantis. This will help Arthur take the throne. But Arthur's journey to the throne is more arduous than he may think.

The cast is fantastic. Jason Momoa brings so much charm & enthusiasm to the role. Amber Heard surprises us all with her acting abilities. Willem Dafoe is great, as always Temuera Morrison shines once again in his limited screentime. And Nicole Kidman is a goddess once again.

James Wan's direction is great. Although there are a couple flaws with the action, Wan makes up for it with his visual style & a lot of ambition.

The screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall, Geoff Johns & James Wan is amazing. The plot is thoroughly intriguing, the characters are well-fleshed-out, & the dialogue is perfectly cheesy.

And the visual effects are excellent. The CGI has never been better for a DCEU film, as the effects feel more realistic here than in the other films of the DCEU.

This is the best DCEU film yet. Although there are a couple minor flaws, they're overshadowed by great performances, dazzling visuals, & a ton of fun.

Aquaman was seen by me at the MJR Marketplace Digital Cinema 20 in Sterling Heights, MI on Friday, December 21, 2018. It is in theaters everywhere. Its runtime is 143 minutes, & it is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence & action, & for some language.

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