Aquaman

Cinemaster Score: 8.3/10

Overall Review

All things considered, Aquaman is the revitalization of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). It brings to the table what none of DC’s movies have before. It has fun, corny moments but not in overwhelming amounts. Aquaman also is one of the most visually stunning movies of the 21st century. James Wan brings action scenes that are reminiscent of a classic George Lucas films in all the perfect ways. The cast is packed with A+ actors and the story captures the audience’s attention within minutes and keeps it for the entire time. Aquaman is an astonishing watch from the likes of what seemed to be a franchise that was dying cinematically. While there are many flaws (such as hokey dialogue), Aquaman is one of the greatest hero films in its recently dying franchise.

The Breakdown

Acting; Aquaman has a star-studded cast that meets its high expectations. Everyone from the lesser known Yahya Abdul-Mateen II to the very experienced Willem Dafoe plays their parts well. They all seem to enjoy the roles they play and play them well. Each character – whether minor or a lead role – stands out as unique due to the performances behind them. Jason Mamoa proves how perfect he is to have been cast as the King of the Sea as he leads the cast through a great movie with his passionate acting at its core.

Script; Aquaman is written with forgettable lines, provides dynamic character moments, and its script is the main piece holding it below its fellow serious superhero movies. Because the script is so corny, it works perfectly by comparison to the rest of the DCEU. The experience is easy to follow and fun to watch. Villains have compelling lines that give glimpses into their inner motives. The screenplay for the side characters is just as investing (albeit not very) as those at front and center – creates an interesting synergy for this superhero flick. On top of it all, Aquaman is just plain funny – almost too reliant on it. This uneven balance of humor shows that the studio has yet to find stable ground in its writing.

Characters; In Aquaman, the characters are both dynamic throughout the movie and accurate to their comic book counterparts. The characters on the big screen act and look the same as they do in the Aquaman comics. The antagonists in the film have understandable – yet unrelatable – motives, keeping the story entertaining nonetheless. The protagonists have generic character developments that keeps a grip on only casual audiences during the movie. The characters in Aquaman make the movie as loveable and enjoyable as it is. Overall, the film without them wouldn’t be quite as fun to watch for even the most die-hard fans.

Direction; James Wan definitely has an eye for sci-fi spectacle, which is surprising considering his horror movie background. He directs action scenes with a unique visual flair never before seen, with twisting angles, long tracking shots, and slow motion mayhem. Character moments are put front and center and try to make us care for them in ways most action movies don’t. Since Wan made this into less of a superhero film, and more of a science fiction adventure epic, the movie is free from tying itself to the rest of the universe and is completely free to tell its own story. Wan’s style is reminiscent of Taika Waititi who directed Thor: Ragnarok, in that he puts his whole artistic vision into a project and isn’t afraid to let his film be a fun time. This movie leaves us eager to see more from James Wan.

Story; The story in Aquaman is a truly generic work. It doesn’t focus much on the origin stories of minor characters but still manages to establish them. It is also a good origin story for the DCEU Aquaman and doesn’t feel as dragged out or boring like their other films. The film has elements of greats before it in the genre and helps solidify itself as one of them. It is the story of an underdog, a man who has a gift he doesn’t want and has a heart of gold. It has a great lesson of words being stronger than sheer power. Aquaman has an overall amazing plot that mixes everything you love from other hero, fantasy, and action films – if only we hadn’t seen the same plot outline plenty of times before.

Enjoyment; Aquaman is some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a movie theater – and that is surprising to say considering this is a DCEU movie. From the opening scene you’ll be drawn in and unable t be taken out of it. It is 2 hours and 30 minutes of pure insanity that never lags. Charismatic characters, breathtaking action and an enjoyable story push this a cut above most Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films. It’s hard to remember the last time a movie brought this much excitement – believe it or not, Aquaman (though it could be better) leaves us eager for more like this after the DCEU’s first step in the right direction.

Personal Review

David: “As I went into the theater to see Aquaman, I was worried. There was already insurmountable hype from Aquaman’s box office success around the world. But Aquaman lived up to the hype, becoming one of the best films in its cinematic universe. With insane visual appeal and great action, it’s hard not to love this film.”

JP: “Wow, was this movie a pleasant surprise. When i first saw the trailers for Aquaman, I was hesitant to watch it. But I decided to give it a chance anyway since I love superhero movies and I’m glad that I did. Aquaman is one of the better DCEU films – mainly because of its strong visual creativity. I guarantee you will enjoy it just for that”

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