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- Action scenes
I didn't even think another human being could top Snyder's visuals in DCEU. Well, I wasn't wrong about that one. I still think his visuals are the best in DCEU but this movie had lots of moments too, those wide angle and tracking shots were a treat. The cinematography was really satisfying, so thank you to Don Burgess and James Wan for that. Underwater CGI scenes were breathtakingly beautiful to look at. Set-pieces makes you forget about the world you live in. Not on the same level as LOTR or Indiana Jones or Star Wars but It's close, and I think that's a pretty tough thing to accomplish. Dialogues were cringy now and then but, unfortunately, that's what makes a super-hero movie ''good'' nowadays, and this probably will continue for the next 10 years. Too bad the days where Nolan's TDK Trilogy gave you goosebumps with just words are gone. Now it's just you have to act weird and say something out of place to create a chemistry between the characters. I can't even believe how people buy these kinds of contrived relationships anymore. Anyways, let me say this, the movie isn't something like Thor (2011) It doesn't make you feel like you're on a movie set. It actually has high-quality different places that set the movie's atmosphere perfectly. If you guys worried about if the movie is just a copycat of MCU film, you can relax. The only similarity between this movie and MCU movies is 9 unfunny and awkward moment. The movie actually harbors multiple layers. Antagonists are actually valued, they're not just background actors or extra performers, they actually have moments to shine. This isn't something like Ant-Man. It doesn't have a stereotype, cliché, and generic film elements that created for the lowest common denominator. It actually has innovations for its genre. This isn't something like Black Panther, It doesn't have PS2 battle scenes. The CGI is actually well-crafted. This isn't something like Captain America: Civil War or most of the MCU films out there, it doesn't have a dim or bland color grading. The movie actually looks lively and vibrant. This isn't something like Guardians of the Galaxy, the characters don't act irrational or illogical, they actually have good reasons because they have developments. This isn't something like Ant-Man and The Wasp, It's not just a filler movie. It actually has a worth-seeing climax. This isn't something like Wonder Woman, It doesn't fail or fall flat in the third act. It actually fulfills its mission at every level. This isn't something like Avengers: Age of Ultron or any other MCU movie. The tone isn't out of place. The movie doesn't have a recurring and predictable theme. The camera isn't too shaky or it doesn't change in every second when an action scene comes up. The villains don't act out of character when they're in a situation. This isn't another Justice League, it isn't trying to be something else. It actually knows its place. But still, nothing can save this universe, not even something as good as The Dark Knight. But as a standalone, this is something worth seeing in the theaters.
PS. It's not better than what MCU offered us for 9 years
The story of the film is a complete story of origin. We see how a character emerged and how he was a hero. We see what Arthur Curry has been going through since his birth. I mean, you can follow the course of the story very easily and there is no scene you will be surprised. From time to time clichés and boring moments can be experienced. When you think it's a story of beginnings, the cliches don't bother you much. I think this is a must for superhero films.
While watching Aquaman, you feel a lot more of Wan's touch to the film. Aquaman literally makes you feel like a "movie". Because while watching the film, you can see the introduction, development and the result line in a very comfortable way. Everything is as it should be. The characters perform their duties more than enough. In the first 20 minutes, you already feel inside the film, and your attachment instinct confirms this. The origin of Aquaman is generally preserved. There are some minor changes to the film. At the same time, there are critical changes in the Black Manta and Orm. But if you are a comic book reader in general, Arthur Curry's story will give you pleasure. The film also touches on a beautiful subject; People pollute the oceans and nature. Jason Momoa had a successful performance. In particular, he has reflected the character change very well. Willem Dafoe is an actor that everyone will enjoy watching. Willem Dafoe had to have more scenes.
The film has technical errors, logic errors, clichés. But in spite of all this, the good aspects are much more. James Wan really created a separate world for the film. The underwater scenes were very good. The visuality is tremendous. Sea creatures, underwater conversations, used camera angles, location preferences, costume designs, fighting scenes, visual effects were very good. The music was just as good as the visuals. Even a separate film for Atlantis can be shot. 8/10
---MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD---
The story is extremely messy: there are a lot of things happening, but the movie never seems to focus on anything. Which is strange since they had more than enough time to do so: the movie's running time is rather long and should have been a lot shorter.
The action scenes were boring and seemed to be going on forever. Up until the last 10 minutes, Aquaman was just a guy who could punch REALLY hard and who occasionally used a trident to do nothing more than use it as a sword. It isn't until the last scene that he gains his extraodinary powers of being able to control the ocean and its inhabitants. Therefore, all the action before that moment was a snoozefest and also took forever. You just want them to go on with the story.
Granted, both Aquaman and his love interest, Mera, are very easy on the eye, which makes it (at least in my opinion) more entertaining to watch, but on that alone you can't build an entire movie.
The visuals of Atlantis weren't as beautiful as I expected them to be: I was kind of confused as to what it even really was. It just seemed like a big ruin (and a lava pit?) with a couple of high tech water ships floating above it. The sea did have some pretty lights in it though, but what the meaning of them was is still unclear to me..
They also tried to create a villain who had absolutely nothing to do with Atlantis, but merely had a personal vendetta with Aquaman. The story doesn't pay any attention to him until he comes in handy for some action scenes though. Why the audience should even consider him a threat is still completely lost on me, but maybe I'm missing something.
Overall, I did not enjoy this movie very much, but to be honest, I still have hope for the Aquaman character. Yes, this movie wasn't all that great, but they didn't ruin his story. Therefore, I think that if they would make a sequel, it could still be a good movie as long as they do things differently than they did in the first. I would consider to go see a sequel, so I guess the movie sort of did what it needed to do..
6/10. -Imme van Gorp
First of all, the story of Aquaman is classic enough (that is, the old-fashioned set of some people), which is the journey of superhero treasure hunt. In an interview with James wan in"WorldScreen"magazine, James said that this is a very classic narrative technique. The growth of Arthur is like the growth of heroes in Spielberg, Cameron and Lucas movies. When Wan was a child, he watched the works of these masters grow up and always wanted to make such a movie, so this retro style is intentional. The facts also prove that the classic story will not be outdated. However, we can also understand from another angle that Wan did not try to try the dark and deep story style, but from the direction of being good at commercial blockbusters. In short, even if you don't have interest in the retro story, the level of the plot is definitely qualified in the super-Hero movie.
Second, it is the retro feel of the picture. On the one hand, many dazzling special effects brought us back to Avatar and the Lord of the Rings until the shock of the first Star Wars, and the imaginative and fascinating atmosphere of the underwater world is obviously a tribute to the classic fantasy sci-fi movies, like those of Star Wars. Just like classic fantasy operatic movie opens the window of imagination for us. On the other hand, James indicates that the film is expected to be like special effects movies in japan(like Ultraman and Godzilla in last century ). No wonder the friend who watched the movie with me shouted "The clothes looks cheap" when he first saw the soldiers of Atlantis. ..... I believe that it is not a problem to add more cool special effects to the soldiers, but James chose a very traditional approach , allowing the actors to fight in plastic armor and add to the film. A little bit of childlike beauty! Seeing this armor design is a little touched. We seem to be able to see james that realize the childhood special movie dreams,hiding behind the viewfinder and snickering.
And......To be honest,I'm little worried about Aquaman2,which is said to have been planned by Warner bros because the first episode is too successful,but I don't believe James will direct it again(just like SAW and Fast&Furious,he did once and did the BEST)And I'm also worried about Birds of Prey because the director is too young ...looking DCU(or DCEU) movies is funny ,we must stand some boring films ,but sometimes DC gives us BIG surprise😘
Look, this movie should not be reviewed as highly as it is. It has GREAT visual effects and Jason Momoa is actually pretty good. However the rest of the acting and writing is so so so so subpar. I've been reading reviews all morning, about character development, how it is way less cheesy than MCU movies, just the right combination of funny and serious. Every scene feels forced like a formula: have at least one funny joke, one cool visual effect, and one heroic speech about the importance of what we are doing. So repetitive, the entire movie. How is that revolutionary, or better than any other films the DCEU has produced? I blame my disappointment in this movie based on the DC only fans who are just forcing good reviews on this movie based on their hatred of Marvel. Because while I definitely love DC, and I like Marvel sometimes too, I pay $15 at the theatre for a GOOD MOVIE not a BRAND.
I hope my review brings down some of the hype. It is still a pretty good film and OF COURSE I love Aquaman and think that every fan should see the film. But I could have waited until it is cheaper on DVD to watch, because it simply isn't worth it. Please don't let the annoying reviews that praise this film as some above holy savior of the franchise sway you, because it is not that jewel of the DC universe they claim it to be. And if any of those reviewers read this, please, when reviewing movies, leave your anger at the MCU at home so I can not waste money on a film that is by no means, saving the DC franchise. The last thing I wanted was to associate this film with disappointment.
tldr: this film really needed a poorer review because the amount of praise it is receiving is unrealistic, and causing people to get their hopes too high about a mediocre film.
But, DCEU really need to fix their poor lines. The writing isn't the best - some dialogues are still cheesy & awkward. Nothing new for the plot, but it is simply enough - almost the same with any superhero film - save the world, family issues, etc. But it has a great message about polluting the water. Also the film scoring and soundtrack was a miss. And I don't see how and why Black Manta is the best villains, his story kinda flat and lacking for me. Black Manta has daddy issues seems not enough for me to think he is the best villain.
Afterall, this is highly recommended movie for superhero movie fans. Also you have to watch it in an IMAX 3D. Worth it.
I was never bored throughout this movie, but that is not because of the clever dialogue, or the the amazing score. No, it's because everything in it is incredibly over-the-top. No kidding, be it the heroes or the villains, the action scenes or the romantic ones, every single thing in this movie is kind of exaggerated. Sometimes it worked for me, but sometimes it didn't. With that in mind, let's get to my pros and cons.
First, what i liked the most: the direction, specially during the action scenes. James Wan managed to differentiate himself from that Snyder style of action pretty well (there's still one or two "Snyder slowmo" kind of shots, but that's it). The fight sequences were well choreographed and shot, with wide angles for most of the time. It was very pleasant to see. Now, I usually don't like when movies start looking like videogames, but it didn't really bother me here. During the gigantic CGI battlescenes you've seen in the trailers, the amount of elements on-screen can be overwhelming, but for the most part, they are well enough shot that you can differentiate what's going on, and so they eventually become quite satisfying. The interaction between the two lead characters is too very entertaining, but then again, because Aquaman is just really extravagant most of the time, so it becomes this quirky, awkward chemestry. But that leads me into the cons.
Yeah, remember when i said everything was exaggerated in here? Well, sometimes that leads to some really weird and unfitting, or just unintentionally funny scenes. For example (and I don't wanna spoil here), the movie will have this really awkward romantic song playing throughout this "lovey dovey" scene, but that just took me out of the film because it's so over-the-top and doesn't fit at all with the previously established tone of the film. It was weird. Not only that, but this certain character will constantly scream during battle scenes like he's a football commentator announcing a goal, like he's really badass when in reality it just comes off as "just too much". I won't lie, I started laughing after a while because he repeats it quite a few times during the movie. Most of these are nitpicks, but because this movie blows everything out of proportion, these small problems end up REALLY standing out. Some bigger complaints are: characters having really flimsy convictions and changing them in the matter of seconds for weak motivations. The movie is also filled with cliches, but that's mostly because Aquaman follows the standard superhero movie formula. On top of that, i found some inconsistencies regarding character's abilities (like, it is established that inhabitants of Atlantis cannot breath outside of the water, but during certain moments they do it just fine). The CGI is very inconsistent, from this gorgeous color filled underwater kingdom, to some pretty terrible green screen effects. The dialogue, is mostly not very well written. Some characters don't suffer from it, including Aquaman, because it ends up fitting their personality, but some characters end up sounding really artificial. The acting is fine. Willem Dafoe is Willem Dafoe, Jason Momoa is Jason Momoa. Temuera Morrison, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman and Dolph Lundgren all did fine with their respective characters. I think the worst ones are the villains, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen and specially Patrick Wilson (who's character is the embodiment of "over-the-top"). Too bad, I don't consider him a bad actor, but goddamn was he subpar in this one. I don't have major complaints wit the editing. It's pretty good, except once or twice where there's just too much going on on-screen and I couldn't follow it, but those were rare moments. However, the sound design has some odd choices. There's this scene where a certain character is handling a knife, and every time he gently touched it, the knife went "KATCHING" with that standard blade sound , but just extremely loudly and exaggerated. I just thought to myself "what?".
Despite the fact that i nitpicked a lot, i think this movie works more than it doesn't. Yes, it's as a standard superhero movie as you can get, but it's a good one. Even with all of the odd choices and apparent problems, it's not a bad movie. The direction is quite good, some shots are fantastic and the fight sequences were very satisfying. It's pure, blown out of proportion, massive CGI fest fun, and I think that's enough for me. For an Aquaman movie, it does everything it should.
- Amber Heard is hot. Nicole Kidman is hot. We get it.
- Fights sometimes are fun, and somewhat violent.
- Heard and Kidman aren't pornstars, and this is a movie, not Brazzers.
- Sadly, they - Heard and Kidman - are the "thing-to-watch" at the sheer absence of movie material. Actresses complain about the objectification of women in Hollywood, join the Me Too Movement, and then they end up showing their "attributes" on the silver-screen for a check. The irony.
- Everything "dialogue" in this movie is made, so a mailbox can understand the very-simple-and-daft plot.
- Dafoe is a rich actor in a poor role with poor dialogue.
- Dolph Lundgren does - technically - a CAMEO, when he should be the main villain. They gave him a "Noble King" type of role. Horrifying.
- All pirates are Black. Yeah, let that sink for a moment.
- The main villain is laughable. I thought he was Will Arnett. Yes, seriously.
- The fight scenes where so Power-Rangers-like that at one point I thought the Atlantian Soldiers would climb on top of each other to form a big Atlantian Soldier. Ha ha ha, it's a joke. (It's not.)
- That scene at the bar with the "tough cookie guys" that ask for a selfie with Aquaman was daft, ridiculously unfunny, totally uncalled for and it didn't built any character cues. It seems it was written by a korean girl in her Senior year of high school.
- This film is more than two hours. Use your time on something else.
-The undersea world looked like it had some potential. It would be interesting to see more about daily Atlantian lifes or how the other, seemingly very different kingdoms, function. Sadly James Wan did not want to elaborate on that.
that pretty much sums up all the good points of this movie. Now to the bad ones:
-no character development or any attempt to make the hero resonate with the audience which is very weird, aquaman being an origin movie
-very poor acting (especially Momoa.. My god.. ) and unexisting chemistry between actors which is almost funny at some points. Regarding the acting Aquaman is supposed to go from super-confident in the beginning to somewhat scared/sceptical by the middle of the movie by what's at stake. Movie tells you that's what's happening at least. Momoa never portrayed that in any way. Same dude throughout the movie saying his lines.
-Music selection. Aquaman is portrayed intentionally or unintenionally being somewhat goofy/witty/smartass. And the music background playing in every one of his scenes sounds like you are watching The Dark Knight. Only darker.. But goofy.. Makes sense.. No..? Ok moving on..
-Jokes were between cringy and plain bad. Some one-liners especially from Momoa made me shiver in discomfort. To me it felt like James Wan saw Thor: Ragnarok and tried the same approach but much much more poorly executed
-no real story development (or even story). Felt like a videogame where your hero goes from place A to place B fights some dude that noone cares about (Im looking at you Manta), gains his XP and then onto the next scene. Seriously if Manta was not part of the movie it would have made literally no difference. Pretty much like the Joker in Suicide Squad. DC was criticized about it then but here we go again....
-Again regarding the story. There is literally nothing original here that you haven't already seen in every other pop-corn movie before. If this is not your first movie then you can easily predict the lines, the story, the 'plot twists'... Pretty much everything..
-And since we are at the story.. Why was that submarine bombarding Atlantis? As far as we are told noone even believed in Atlantis aside from some people who were considered 'weird' or 'conspiracy theorists' by the general public. So could the government know about Atlantis all along? And its plan was to send a lone submarine some thousand meters undersea for what purpose? Or was it an inside job? Shouldnt we be told or hinted at least? I mean that incident, again from what we are told, initiated the war underseas that would lead to the invasion of the Atlantians against the people of the surface. Either I was half asleep when they explained/implied this or the movie was laughably lazy with this
I could go on but I mostly wanted to share my rough feelings on this especially after seeing how highly this movie is praised at this point. If this was released in the early 00s where the superhero genre was still discovering itself then it would have been fine. But at this point its definitely not.
Honestly if you care only for the visuals go watch it. If you expect anything more do not waste your time.
Personally I think I am officially done with the DCU