I went into this with bated breath and hope, and luckily I was able to let that breath out and thoroughly enjoyed this fun ride. Aquaman knows it’s heritage has been teased and picked on, and embraces that. This is a purely fun, superhero popcorn flick. It’s also the best DC movie since Wonder Woman.
James Wan is a capable directer (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring) and makes Aquaman into an actual living, breathing person instead of a caricature. The action scenes are fluid and have a palpable sense of danger, and each fight feels like there’s lives on the line. Each packs a punch, and the set-pieces for these battles are awe-inspiring. The background keeps moving even as catastrophe is unfolding. The visuals are bright, vibrant, and colorful, lending the movie a light touch that conjures up the feeling of watching a Saturday morning cartoon (in the best possible way). I also adored how the women in the film were portrayed as equally strong and powerful as their male counterparts.
Now, on to the cast. Simply put, they’re fantastic. Jason Momoa is utterly captivating and charming as Arthur Curry/Aquaman. He makes sure that the titular hero is no longer the butt of jokes, and permission to board is indeed granted. You can also tell he’s having a hell of a good time encompassing this role. Amber Heard gives the best performance of her career to date as the gorgeous, yet deadly powerful, Mera. The supporting turns from Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, and Willem Dafoe are solid and add grounding touches to the narrative.
My only gripes with this movie are the fact that the story is pretty simple and straight-forward when it comes down to it, and that Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) gets such short-shrift. The plot is formulaic to the superhero genre, and even though Black Manta is absolutely badass, he’s barely in the movie besides one epic fight and a couple of throwaway moments.
Overall, I highly recommend you watch Aquaman. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, wholesome (no sexualized situations or individuals (hallelujah!), nudity, or crass language besides the standard curse words), adds a stable film to the DCEU, and makes you fall even more in love with Jason Momoa than you probably already were.