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Ah, and a very funny scene is watching Aquaman trying not to fall (and looking very scared) from the roof of one house in Sicily (two stories high) , when he'd just jumped from a plane thousand meters high with no parachute in the desert.
But Nicole Kidman was beautiful as always.
Special effects are decent, and the story moves along at a decent pace. Momoa carries the film despite being surrounded by one dimensional characters with digitally botoxed faces. I would never watch this movie again.
I think it was the moment when Nicole Kidman swallowed a goldfish that I started to suspect I might actually enjoy this movie. That suspicion, however, turned out to be wrong, because I didn't just enjoy it: I ended up ADORING it. The weirdest thing: the film DID contain all those elements I had feared - and yet none of that seemed to matter. It just works. It shouldn't, but it somehow does, which is why I've since come to the conclusion that director James Wan is some sort of genius wizard filmmaker. Don't let the generic superhero tropes and cheesy dialog fool you into thinking this was a typical mainstream movie (though I DO suspect those things managed to fool the studio executives into thinking exactly that: which is probably how James Wan got away with it), because in truth, this is the least generic, most bonkers big budget studio flick I've seen in ages. It's the film 'Valerian' wants to be. It's crazy; it's over-the-top; it's beautifully designed with incredible attention to every little detail in every frame; it doesn't take itself seriously for a second, and yet it fully commits to - and loves - its characters and the world they inhabit.
I was awed, literally awed by the design of the Atlantian society and technology; the worldbuilding and visuals are so distinct and original - which caught me completely off guard, because I didn't expect that in a 200 million studio picture for the masses. When the music score went into full synthesizer mode as "Aquabro" and Mera arrive on the collapsed bridge leading to the underwater city, and the screen virtually explodes with the most colorful creatures and underwater vehicles imaginable, I had a stupid grin on my face out of pure joy and adoration for this stunning display of artistic vision (the stupid grin stayed on my face for the remainder of the movie). And the film didn't let up. 'Aquaman' never loses steam; there's no weak third act (at least in my opinion); the wondrous discoveries and beautiful, unexpected designs and creatures keep coming until the very end. Although it has a very different tone, I was actually reminded of watching 'LOTR: The Return of the King' for the first time.
It's true, 'Aquaman' delivers the typical, clichéd, cheesy superhero tropes in spades, but those generic story beats - some of which were probably demanded by the studio - seem to be all surface; they're not what James Wan (or his characters) are really interested in. It almost seems to me that the director only used those tropes as camouflage to sneak in nods to every film of every genre he ever loved and get really creative with the worldbuilding. His biggest accomplishment, however - the film's greatest strength - is something that only few blockbusters ever achieve: he successfully combines a genuine sense of wonder and awe with complete, unabashed fun.
So, to sum up this review: against my expectations, the superhero film I least expected to like managed to do what not a single superhero movie so far had done for me; it filled me with an urge to immediately see it again, because I was so in love with its bonkers, "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" approach to filmmaking. Naturally, I now hope James Wan will also direct 'Aquaman 2', as I'm sure if given the chance, next time not even the kitchen sink will be safe.
P.S. (for new IMDb users): In case you don't know whether to trust this review or not, because you have no idea what my tastes in film are, just click on my username - gogoschka-1 - and you'll see what my favorite movies are.
I cannot believe this has such a high rating? What on earth are people getting from this? The dialogue was TERRIBLE. The acting was also TERRIBLE. It couldn't pick a genre. Was it a comedy? Was it a soap opera? Was it a policital piece on pollution of the seas? Was it Star Wars? (did they really need all that tech??) Was it Avatar? WHO CAN TELL.
It was honestly all over the shop. I felt like each scene had a different director who was just going to completely disregard what everyone else has done before them.
Positives: the underwater CGI was magnificent. Like, really beautiful. Jason Mamoa is charming. I'll give him that. The female lead didn't need saving once and didn't spend the entire movie screaming, so that was refreshing!
Negatives: literally everything else.
At this point, Wonder Woman is carrying the entire DCEU on her shoulders (in my opinion).
- 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
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.
Those that are saying this movie is boring are obviously referring to the fact that their brains were left to rot for 2 hours and 23 minutes.
I can't imagine a movie being more devastating to the industry than this one... having it be so successful and so dumb at the same time is a formula for more dumb movies to follow...
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
- 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.