Film review: Aquaman

Okay, I’m going to start straight off by saying that Aquaman was a pleasant surprise. If you’ve read any of my other reviews then you’ll know I’m not a huge fan of the DC’s big screen efforts so far. Biggest complaint? They lack a sense of fun. I get that superhero movies don’t have to be a laugh a minute, but there’s just something in everything they’ve done so far; it’s not just humour – it’s heart. Character and heart.

Aquaman is still lacking in character development (and a little in the script), but on the whole, the film works … just about.

Problem areas? Yup, as I said, the characterisation. Again, I don’t know why the characters in DC movies seem to lack depth (no pun intended), they just never seem to be fully realised. Having said that, I think Jason Momoa has a pretty decent stab of turning one of DC’s b-teamer’s into something halfway interesting.

He’s easily the most animated character from the DC stable so far; on that front, good job. 

One thing we could with less of though, is the standard Momoa shot: no shirt, view from the back, then a slow turn and a look over the left shoulder with a raised eyebrow. Pithy comment optional. There was an awful lot of that.

The story is a little bit overlong, with lots of flashbacks, many of which could have been handled with a few lines of dialogue. Still, I wasn’t bored, so I think that’s certainly no reason to steer clear of it. The special effects were top-notch, and while some folk have complained that the underwater sets were a little bit ‘kitsch’, I thought they were pretty good – awesome in fact. Though I have to say that Amber Heard’s dress which appeared to be made of several Portugese man o’ wars stitched together … that did not work for me. 

Still, plenty of action scenes, and the fight sequences were very very good. I know I sound critical, but really, this has been one of the best DC outings so far. It’s got a stock decent story and a leading man with wide appeal (according to my better half anyway). Is it an Oscar contender? Of course not; it’s a superhero movie, but that doesn’t stop it from being an entertaining way to spend a few hours on a wet Sunday afternoon. 

Six-and-a-half out of ten.

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